Cancer Research: The Hope for a Better Tomorrow
There’s no disease or affliction in the world that can be as difficult for people to handle or survive than cancer. The severity of cancer, combined with how many people it affects has made cancer research the most common medical research in the world. Part of what makes cancer so scary is that it can seemingly affect almost anyone.
The best way to fight cancer currently is through medical research. There are countless medical scientists out there trying to find a way to reduce the instances of, or eliminate cancer. Considering the number of different cancers and the variety of different causes they have, it’s no easy task. Donating to cancer research is an excellent way to help fight this evil disease.
What Does Cancer Research Actually Do?
Many people hear “cancer research” and they assume that everything is put into finding a way to cure the cancer. However, the truth is that there are several different types of cancer research and all of these work together to either fight the disease or make people’s lives better. The four types of research are:
- Basic Research - This is what most people think of when they think of cancer research. Research scientists work to understand the basic elements and fundamentals of how cancer acts and how it reacts in the body. This is the building block research for later attempts to impede or cure cancer.
- Clinical Research - This is the next step after basic research. Clinical research will work to create and test drugs or other developments that are fighting cancer. This research examines all aspects of a patient's care as well.
- Population Research - Population based research works towards finding the statistical trends that can help outline the causes of cancer. Many cancers seem to strike at random. However research has gone a long way to predicting these trends. Population research also tracks treatment and successes of care in various regions as well.
- Translational research - This is the research that takes the hypothetical research and turns it into real life application. Cancer research on care for patients needs to be passed on to hospitals and clinics. Translational research will guide the implementation of new techniques. In addition, this research can take the information from population and clinical research and change the aim of basic research.
Common Cancers Being Researched
There’s an affiliation between cancers being researched and how much they affect people. The benefits of research ideally will benefit as many people as possible. It’s important to note that in many cases, researching a specific cancer will have wide reaching effects on research for others, so they may be grouped or it can be very general. That being said, sometimes individual cancers are researched. These include:
- Breast Cancer Research - Breast cancer is arguably the most well known and fought cancer. Much of the research goes to prevention and better detection methods. This includes technology like tomosynthesis, which takes multiple images from different angles and can replicate the breast in a 3-D image. Several breast cancer research groups may accept donations, and then give the money to specific research that appears promising. In this way, an individual doesn’t need to immerse themselves in the world of scientific research.
- Lung Cancer Research - Due to the amount of past and present smokers, lung cancer remains a horrible problem. There is some promising research for lung cancer to help detect it early or even predict it with people who smoke. There is also a lot of research into different surgical techniques which may make operating on lung cancer much safer with better results. Using microcoils is one such technique (these are incredibly tiny twisted metal loops) that let a surgeon remove small nodules of cancer without very invasive techniques.
- Leukemia Research - Since leukemia is the most common cancer found in children, it’s no surprise that research continues to battle it. Being diagnosed with cancer is awful, but for it to occur in a child is a true tragedy. Many of the promising research for leukemia is in the field of targeted therapy. This uses drugs to target very specific proteins or molecules that allow cancer cells to grow and stop their efforts.
How to Donate to Cancer Research
The first thing to do when deciding to donate to cancer research is decide which type of cancer research you wish to support. While it’s true that some cancer receives more support than others, it’s a personal choice that needs to be made.
The second thing is to determine how you wish to donate. Some people wish to simply donate cash straight to foundations. Others prefer to take part when their donations also receive them some other tangible benefit like a dinner or items auctioned off for charity research.
Once a person has decided how they intend to donate, the next step is contacting a charity dedicated to the cancer in question. Thankfully, these are fairly easy to find through a quick web search. There will be a link on each of these websites to donate. A charitable receipt should be provided, as most function as charities. This allows people to enjoy the feeling of helping out, but also tax and financial benefits as well. Donating to cancer research really is beneficial in multiple different ways.
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