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Cancer is commonly caused by damage to genes. When the factors that control cellular growth start malfunctioning, chances of getting cancer increases. While a defective gene can lead to cancer, toxins from outside can also be a cause. At present, treatments are based on experiences from clinical trial on a large number of people. But experts feel that personalized medicine will enable doctors to adjust therapies based on individual needs.
According to Hoskin, “The requirements of a 20-year-old woman who wants to get pregnant will be different from a 70-year-old man suffering from cancer. As research progresses, it is becoming more sophisticated in defining categories.This not only increases the complexity of the cases, but makes treatment more personalized.“
Hoskin said that for India, population growth is a challenge and the country has more chances of getting cancer cases. “The situation is similar in China. In future, 20-25% increase in cancer cases could be witnessed in India,“ he said. He added, however, that India is also using the latest technology in treating patients.
Commenting on the future of cancer treatment, Hoskin said that Proton therapy , also known as Proton beam therapy , will gradually become more popular. Proton therapy uses protons instead of x-rays to treat the disease. “Proton therapy has taken off in US. Countries in Europe are also shifting towards proton therapy . In the next 5-10 years there will be a flourish of Proton facilities in UK,“ he said. “It will take some time to become popular and machines will become simpler,“ he said.
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