World Cancer Day: Not beyond us
While much progress has been made, cancer remains one of the biggest challenges in healthcare today, affecting one in three people and causing over 8 million deaths in 2012. By 2030, the number of people affected by cancer is expected to double.
As a leading provider of cancer treatment and diagnostics, Roche are proud to join the global community in support of World Cancer Day and raising awareness of issues facing cancer patients today - encouraging its prevention, early detection, access to optimal diagnostics, treatment and care - and working together for a better tomorrow. This year’s theme, ‘Not Beyond Us’ takes a positive look at cancer care access and options that are already within reach today.
Understanding cancer: Why is there still no cure?
While more treatment options are available than ever before there may never be a single cure for cancer. ‘Cancer’ refers to not one disease but a family of more than 250 different diseases. These diseases are caused by a variety of genetic and environmental risk factors and each cancer type responds differently to different treatments, meaning that the right treatment for the right patient is crucial to fighting the disease. As the cancer landscape evolves, a more personalized or tailored approach to treatment is emerging and the range of options is growing.
A brief history for further insights
Cancer has been around since ancient times (1600BC), but real progress has only been made in the last 50 years. And in the past ten, that pace has accelerated tremendously bringing significant advances in the scope and mechanics of treatments and diagnostics. In fact, more than half of all cancers are now thought to be preventable and people live nearly six times longer than 40 years ago. Modern-day chemotherapy has its origins on the battlefields of WW1 and it wasn’t until very recently that we starting seeing real breakthrough in immunotherapies that work to strengthen the immune system so that patients are better equipped to fight the disease as well as in more targeted treatments which interfere with specific molecules involved in cancer cell growth and survival.
Progress in cancer: From dinosaurs to diagnostics
At Roche we know that much progress has been made, to the point where cure is a realistic option for some cancers. Oncology. Advances in diagnostics and genomics as well as targeted treatments and immunotherapies are changing the cancer landscape and bringing hope to millions of patients.
Today, the five-year survival rate is above 65% and the latest statistics show more than 14 million survivors in the US alone with a projected 90 million by 2020*. While these stats are encouraging, there’s a growing disparity between developed and developing regions of the world. World Cancer Day promotes multidisciplinary collaboration among governments, intergovernmental organizations, research institutions and corporations to meet these challenges and to ensure that as many patients as possible have access to the right treatment at the right time.