A cancer diagnosis is never welcome news, but every new patient hopes to hear these six words: "At least we caught it early."
Unfortunately, catching it early isn't as easy as it sounds and, with a few exceptions, scientists acknowledge they haven't had many breakthroughs in the search for safer and more effective cancer screening techniques.
That doesn't mean researchers haven't been hard at work looking for better screenings that rely less on finding tumors and more on finding molecules and biomarkers that signal cancer is coming before it's had the chance to take hold.
Survival rates depend a lot on the type of cancer a person gets, but for some very treatable cancers, like breast cancer, the survival rate rises from 15% at stage 4 to 93% at stage 0.
If we want to beat cancer we're going to need better ways to find it sooner. Tell Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to invest research dollars in early detection.
Dear Secretary Sebelius,
We all know that the best chance a person has to beat cancer is if it's caught early. For breast cancer, for example, the survival rate goes from 15% with a stage 4 diagnosis to 93% with a stage 0 diagnosis. But unfortunately, there have been relatively few breakthroughs in new cancer screen techniques in the last two decades.
I think it's crucial that our government invest in early detection research. Please, make sure these projects get adequate funding to save lives.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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