The Doctors breakdown the latest breakthroughs in the fight against cancer.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork is joined by Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer, to explain some of these remarkable advancements science has made recently. “Let’s start by saying that cancer is not one disease… but it’s hundreds of diseases. So, we’re now in a position where we can manage some, we can cure some, and some we still have a long way to go on,” she says.
Dr. Lewis-Hall reminds us of some of the cancer basics, explaining,“Cancer cells represent the abnormal growth of our cells and cancer cells can spread by influencing the cells around it to behave in ways that they normally would not."
There is hope for those fighting the disease, which kills close to 600,000 people annually in America.
“New cancer therapies are being looked into that are at that cellular level and involving the immune system in the fight. This is called immunotherapy,” she continues.
Dr. Lewis-Hall says there are now treatments capable of directing our body’s own immune system to better defend against the presence of new cancer cells.
“You can instruct these cells to recognize, to attack and to kill cancer cells,” she tells Dr. Stork, but cautions that these new advancements are not a magic bullet for all types of the disease.
“Immunotherapy works better on some cancers than it does on other cancers. In many cases of cancer, the combination of immunotherapy, with other cancer treatments works better,” Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer says.
Dr. Stork encourages anyone diagnosed with cancer to have frequent discussions with their healthcare team about the possibility of using the latest treatments and advances.
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