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Strides Made As War On Cancer Continues
Updated May 1, 2014 7:14 AM | Filed under: Health
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - A new study out of the UK says that half of patients diagnosed with cancer today will basically be "cured."

In short, the report says the cancer survival rate will be double the survival rate of the 1970s.

Is that also the case in America?

Indy-based St. Vincent Hospital Oncologist Dr. Ruemu Birhiray says big progress in medical research along with public education are playing big roles in strides made against cancer. Dr. Birhiray says medical professionals generally views many cancers - though not all - as chronic conditions rather than terminal illnesses.

The doctor traces the turnaround back to President Nixon who declared "war on cancer" and robust cancer research. He says better drugs and improved ways to harness the immune system to fight cancer have worked well. He says cancer is now often viewed in the same way as hypertension and diabetes. He cites better drugs, early detection and prevention.

The doctor says lung cancer remains difficult, but strides are being made.

Dr. Birhiray says he thinks cures for some cancers may not be far off. He says the terms "cure" and "treatment" can be interchangeable.

He says the biggest issue for medicine is helping people to continue to live high-quality lives.

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