Last year British scientists began developing a vaccine designed to stimulate the immune system so that it destroys cancer cells when they spread in the body.
The researchers found "flag" proteins which allow cancer
cells to divide. These proteins are usually hidden from the immune system, but once isolated, the body's T-cells can hone in and destroy the cancer. Through special treatments tailored to patient DNA, tumuors that are usually resistant to therapy can be targeted by altering their genetic makeup.
Although the vaccine is still in the early stages of development, scientists believe that this revolutionary treatment may be used to fight terminal cancers, and could be trialled in as little as two years. One British woman with advanced cervical cancer is already being treated with the vaccination and low doses of chemotherapy pills.
It's undoubtedly a major breakthrough in the fight against cancer. Concerned for yourself or a loved one? Read on for the symptoms to look out for...From a bad cough to persistent bloating, many cancer symptoms are all to easy to brush aside. But if you find you are experiencing any of the following conditions, don't wait to consult your GP. Its no secret that the earlier cancer is detected the more likely a patient is to survive. According to research an estimated 950 lives could be saved every year in England if the disease was caught and treated quickly. Consulting your GP will give you peace of mind and even if you aren't suffering from cancer you may be suffering from something less serious. Either way, the sooner you pay a trip to the doctor the better.
Making some simple changes to your daily life can help cancer prevention, most importantly: healthy eating, taking regular exercise, not smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. Cancer is unfortunately becoming all to common a disease. Recent statistics show that more than 1 in 3 people will develop cancer at some point in their lives, the most common types being lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer.
Despite common belief cancer is not a man-made modern condition and has existed as long as humans have been on earth - it has even been detected in dinosaurs. And with people now living longer than ever before the likelihood of developing cancer has simply increased. But thanks to advancing research survival from cancer has "doubled in the UK over the past 40 years" according to Cancer Research UK. Read on to discover the cancer symptoms that should not be ignored...
1. A cough that won't go away
If you have a cough that continues for over three weeks or you find that you are often short of breath, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Also, if you are coughing up phlegm with blood in it that could be another sign of lung cancer that should not be ignored, the same goes for if you have difficulty swallowing.
2. A sore that doesn't heal
A long lasting sore in the mouth could be a sign of oral cancer. Other sores on the body that don't go away should also be looked at by your doctor as they could be a sign of skin cancer.
If you frequently experience heartburn it could be a sign that you are suffering from oesophageal, stomach or ovary cancer. Try improving your diet, but if the heartburn still continues you should see a doctor.
4. Unexplained weight loss
Weight loss is one of the first and most noticeable signs of cancer, particulary pancreatic, stomach or lung cancer. While most of us would love the extra pounds to suddenly disappear, it is something that needs to be kept an eye on. With rapid weight loss that is linked to cancer also comes fatigue, lack of energy and weakness, so look out for that too.
5. Changes in the colour, shape or size of a mole
Don't wait to have a mole checked if it is getting bigger, is sometimes itchy or loses symmetry. This also applies if you have a dark area under a nail. Additionally, very dark moles can be a sign of skin cancer, as are moles that have inflammation around them.
6. Heavy sweating at night time
An early symptom of cancer, night sweats are most commonly associated with leukaemia. You should pay particular attention if you get severe hot flashes during the night when you are not in an overheated environment.
7. Unusual bleeding
Irregular vaginal bleeding is often a symptom of cervical cancer. Blood anywhere else it wouldn't normal be, for instance from spitting or bowl motion, should also be checked up on.
8. Persistant bloating
Many women experience bloating, especially during that time of the month. But if bloating continues after your cycle continues it could be a sign of ovarian or uterine cancer.