Importance of Cancer Research
Cancer research is the research into cancer to identify causes, and develop strategies for its prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure. It can span from prevention of cancer to the laboratory research that examines new and improved methods of detecting cancer and developing new drugs to fight it.
This has been going on for centuries. The earliest research focused on the causes of cancer, its main aim being improving surgical techniques to remove tumors.
Types of research:
Basic Laboratory Research
Nursing, Social Sciences, and Allied Health Research
Why is Cancer Research important?
When you think about who benefits most from cancer research, you probably think of cancer patients and their families. Research informs every aspect of a patient’s care, from the way that doctors initially diagnose the disease through to the treatments they receive.
And it works – thanks to research, survival rates have doubles since the 70s.
But the benefits to patients and their families are not the only effects of our research. A population that lives longer and healthier lives has the knock on effect of creating a more productive workforce that contributes to economic growth and tax receipts. So by helping the patients get better and the population to be healthier, research has an impact on the economy.
So, in addition to the important stories we hear from patients, and the statistics, we also want to better understand the impact of cancer research by measuring its value to the population as a whole.
Decades ago, most invasive cancers were fatal. For example, until the 1960s almost all children diagnosed with leukemia and most men diagnosed with testicular cancer died from their illness. Today almost all of these cancers are cured by treatments developed through research. However, we still desperately need improvements in many aspects of cancer. The outcome for some treatments such as pancreatic and ovarian cancer lags far behind that of other forms of the disease. We also need to find ways that treatment can have less consequences for cancer patients and their loved ones.
While much of the cancer research will benefit the next generation of patients, research is very much vital for the cancer patients being treated today. Studies have shown that patients being treated at research-intensive hospitals, have a better outcome than those treated in hospitals with little to no research activity.