¿Cuándo Ganaremos la Guerra Contra el Cáncer?

Hace treinta años el presidente de Estados Unidos (EU) declaró la "guerra contra el cáncer". Este año, 1500 hombres, mujeres y niños perdieron su batalla personal con el cáncer cada día, sólo en EU. ¿Cuándo terminará la guerra?

Me parece que para muchos tipos de cáncer la guerra terminará pronto. Gracias al conocimiento adquirido a través de la investigación básica, tenemos nuevas herramientas con las que podemos atacar al cáncer. Esas nuevas herramientas están permitiendo un diagnóstico más rápido y tratamientos más efectivos. Están produciendo nuevas drogas que actúan de acuerdo a cambios moleculares que son únicos de las células cancerígenas, haciendo posible predecir quién podría estar en riesgo de desarrollar cáncer debido a factores genéticos o ambientales. Esos avances salvarán muchas vidas.

El cáncer afecta a muchos órganos y tejidos del cuerpo. Aunque los tipos de cáncer difieren mucho en cuanto a su apariencia y a su comportamiento, tienen una causa común: el daño genético. Los genes son unidades de códigos químicos que especifican la estrutura y el funcionamiento de nuestros cuerpos. Todas las células de nuestro cuerpo tienen el mismo complemento de genes, la mitad de cada uno de nuestros padres. Lo que hace a un tipo de células distinto de otro es la combinación de genes que están activos en cada célula.

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