Ulster University have reported success in a new method in tumour reduction for those with pancreatic cancer. The new treatment injects tumors with oxygen bubbles coated with medication which is then activated by ultrasound. This treatment shrinks the size of the tumor giving a greater chance of tumor resection.
Currently pancreatic cancer is hard to detect due to the lack of symptoms until a late stage in the cancer and that symptoms are vague, looking like other less serious conditions. By the time the cancer is detected it is usually too late to remove the tumors. This new ‘breakthrough’ treatment could allow for an up to five-fold reduction in tumor size giving those with pancreatic cancer a literal new lease of life.
It is estimated that approx. 9,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer per year and it has the lowest five-year survival rate of any common cancer. The ability to treat it is low and the progress in the area has been minimal. This is not to say that the work isn’t being done, although the Research Innovation Fund reports that less than 1.5% of cancer research is directed toward the pancreatic kind, but that it is not an easy cancer to cure.
This new treatment really could be a ‘miracle cure’ in providing longevity and less suffering to those who are ill. My view on this isn’t just directed to those directly impacted by this disease. My thoughts also turn to the families and friends who have watched this cancer swallow their loved ones. This is a particularly close matter to my heart having been rendered helpless as pancreatic cancer reduced my beloved grandma into a shadow of her former self. Gone was her stubborn demeanor, her independence and most of all her ability to show us the love she had for her family. So, whilst I am eager and excited to hear about this new ‘breakthrough’ treatment my head warns me to proceed with caution. It may be too late for those I have loved and lost but not for others who are still struggling on this path. Until there is further proof of this wonder treatment I will be anxiously trawling the internet for more information with my fingers-crossed, hoping against hope for good news.
To donate to the Pancreatic Research Fund click here
To donate to Pancreatic Cancer UK click here
To donate to Pancreatic Cancer Action click here
To donate to St Luke’s Hospice (who looked after my grandmother so well) click here