The deadline is 2020, but the outcome is far from clear. In some instances, we seem to be going backward. For instance, the target for cervical cancer screening is 93% of those who should be screened. In 2008, it was 84.4%. In 2010, it was 83.9%.
Good news: Overall death rates for all childhood and adolescent cancers declined by more than 50% since 1975. Bad news: Survivors are vulnerable to a host of problems as they get older. For instance, some who’ve overcome Hodgkin’s lymphoma have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
The key is measuring chemotherapy agents’ efficacy based on aptosis — cell death — as reflected by cells’ changing optical density. A new test produces a report that shows the sensitivity of tumor cells to therapy. The technology may allow individually selected older therapies to become the therapies of the future.
Mark Herzlich, Boston College All American linebacker and now New York Giants rookie, believes that positive thinking played an important part in his successful battle "to beat bone cancer" and return to football. World-renowned cyclist and cancer advocate Lance Armstrong credits not only topnotch medical care but also positive thinking in his overcoming testicular cancer. Armstrong stated on CBS Sunday Morning, "You can't deny the fact that a person with a positive and optimistic attitude does a lot better." Like the vast majority of individuals polled on whether or not the positive thinking can influence cancer outcomes, I believed/wanted to believe that positive thinking would be correlated with better survival data. But the weight of evidence does not support the thesis that optimistic attitude trumps the Big C, or even influences oncology outcomes.