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Research improves cancer treatment

AAUW of Tehachapi


Barbara Wood introduced Janice Armstrong who spoke about cancer at an AAUW meeting.

Cancer is not a death sentence. Those were the words of Janice Armstrong when she spoke at a recent meeting of American Association of University Women. She not only has a nursing degree but is also a cancer survivor. These two factors have sparked her interest in the causes and treatment of cancer in great detail.

Armstrong was quick to point out that cancer is not a single disease but a family of diseases. With a history of cancer in her family, she has suffered with five different types of cancer. She described amazing research that has changed the way cancer is treated. Since her first cancer was discovered, new discoveries about the disease have made it possible for her to overcome each of her cancers.

New discoveries have led to new medicines that are more effective than the earlier methods of massive doses of chemotherapy. Today chemotherapy is more specific and many chemotherapy agents do not have the severe side effects of even a few years ago.

Immunotherapy is a promising new treatment for cancer. Armstrong predicted, that as this method is perfected, surgery to remove tumors may no longer be necessary. One's own body can be used to fight the invading disease.

Great strides in treatment are being made, but at great expense. The question arises about who will pay for this. Will treatment be available to only the wealthy? Is it a right or a privilege? Armstrong admitted no one knows the answer to this.

AAUW members were urged to become educated about cancer by reading; by understanding their family health history; and by utilizing the appropriate screening tools now available.


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