Every year over sixty-five-thousands Swedes are diagnosed with cancer. To put that into perspective: that is more people than the number of inhabitants in the city of Karlskrona. Men are slightly more likely to have cancer, but women are more likely to pass away as a result of it. The most common type of cancer is prostate cancer. Yearly ten-thousands men are diagnosed with different strains of it, most of them survive without any severe complications. On the other hand, breast cancer, which is almost as prevalent, kills more people than prostate cancer. In other words, men or women, we are all affected and should be equally concerned. It may be indirectly or directly, one way or another, but cancer will in some way change most people’s lives for the worse. Therefore, everyone should be interested in the latest advancements in oncology- and its funding.
There have been remarkable discoveries and mind-blowing research done in the last decade. Different types of stereotactic planning combined with deep learning segmentation have revolutionized the integration of technology in cancer treatment. The software used to create automated planning systems and algorithms of today, have in some cases, shown to exceed the human capacity to diagnose certain types of complex cancer. All the pain and death caused by cancer will hopefully continue to decrease as our knowledge and ability to treat improve. But things improving is not some sort of natural law- on the contrary. It will take resources and hundreds of hundreds of hundreds of brave and dedicated men and women to cure cancer.
One way to contribute to the fight against cancer is to put the European cancer research fund, or similar charities, in your will. Another is to push your political leaders and governments to increase their long-term budgets for universities and their research programs. Currently, most of the world’s elite research centers are underfunded and thereby incapable of doing the type of advanced research they most often have the competent people and capacity to do. It is truly a waste and may cost us even more in terms of treatment costs and, of course- lives that could have been.
We all have a relationship with a cancer patient or survivor. For some, it is a relative or a friend; for some, it is the anonymous neighbor, and for the least fortunate, it is themselves. We are all affected.