The North Channel Chamber heard from a cancer expert at their monthly luncheon last week, Dr. Luis Camacho.
Dr. Camacho is affiliated with the East Houston RMC Cancer Center, and is also Director of the Center for Oncology and Blood Disorders. His original training was at Bogota, Columbia, and later at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the U. S.
Dr. Camacho illustrated his talk with slides about various types of cancers, and some basic facts about the nature of cancer and how it can be minimized, or otherwise treated.
Camacho said that 1 of every 2 men will have some type of invasive cancer, and 1 of every 3 women. He defined cancer as cells in the body that have uncontrollable doubling.
The outstanding questions, he said, are whether we can prevent cancer, and cure cancer. The answer is “Yes.”
Prevention includes not smoking, and with skin cancer, protecting ourselves from the sun’s rays. Over 1 million people get skin cancer every year. Curing cancer relies on early diagnosis, and customized treatment.
Cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, or a combination of all three.
He noted that cancer survivors also have an inate belief in God, and he has seen that a spiritual belief results in a longer survival.
He said that over 1000 new drugs are in development, but only 3 to 5 of every 100 will be approved, and they are very costly to develop. It takes 15 years and over $800 million to get one new effective drug.
He recommended that someone with cancer ask to participate in a clinical trial, to access the new drugs.