15 Oct The CURE to Cancer
My entrepreneurship professor shared an article with me about an effective strategy to discover the cure for cancer. For those of you who are new here, I lost two close friends to cancer, initially when I was five, and again at the age of 13. Azra Raza, a professor and cancer researcher at Columbia University, wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal detailing the power of early cancer detection.
For the past 50 years, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been the classic treatment options for cancer. These methods are harmful, costly, damaging and yield little success—I have witnessed their effects firsthand. 2.4 million lives have been saved since 1991, stated Raza. But, the survival rates for cancer today are close to what they were in the 1930s, before cigarettes.
Raza recommends a “paradigm shift” to re-focus and detect cancer before it has the ability to spread. Prevention serves as the safest, quickest and most affordable alternative, estimated to save over $26 billion per year (Raza, 2019). Separate industries have evolved to manage the side effects of cancer treatment.
Obviously, cancer is not an easy nor simple fix, and no single drug can prevent cell mutations. The concept of early detection has been around for a century. It originated in 1907 when Charles Childe, a British doctor, observed, “Cancer itself is not incurable…it is the delay that makes it so,” (Raza, 2019).
“Sometimes, rather than improving existing methods, a drastic change in strategy is essential,” said Raza. “Our idea is to develop a radically different set of tools for early cancer detection, by identifying those novel biomarkers and developing imaging and implantable devices to provide persistent monitoring of healthy bodies.”
Pay attention to the first part of Raza’s statement. I think this quote also applies to our everyday lives in that we need to drastically change our strategy to create effective solutions, rather than trying to fix methods that clearly aren’t working. Doing the same thing over and over when it’s not working is the definition of insanity.
“By posing exciting challenges to competitive scientists, progress can be accelerated dramatically,” said Raza. “Why not apply the same rigor and focus to finding minimal initial disease?”
Creativity breeds excitement and stimulation, which jumpstarts projects and results in success stories. If this is true for us in our creative outlets, why would we expect a scientist to be any different? At the end of the day, we are all human and our brains are awakened by new challenges.
“Instead of letting cancer grow into its end-stage monstrosity, let us assemble our resources to pre-empt that battle and strike instead at the cancer’s root: the first cells,” said Raza.
I couldn’t agree more with Raza’s ending statement. Cancer has taken so much from me and the people I love. Let’s stop cancer in its tracks and eliminate it before it has the chance to take the people we love. Help me raise awareness about early cancer detection, so that no one else has to lose a battle to cancer.
P.S. Kendra Scott seeks to spread awareness about early detection and invites her followers to join her. She lives by three core values: family, fashion and philanthropy—she focuses on raising money for cancer research…Just another reason I aspire to work for this wonderful company.