There have been a lot of advances in cancer treatment over the last several years. Dr. Howard Schlossberg, an oncologist with New York Oncology Hematology, shares his insight on patient survivorship.
"Over the last few years, we've been learning more about what makes each person's [cancer] case unique," says Dr. Schlossberg. "And even more exciting, we're able to target the treatments more to them."
"Some folks with lung cancer who would have had to get IV chemotherapy making their hair fall out, can now take a pill once a day and have the same result if they are one of the people who have a particular abnormality," says Dr. Schlossberg. "We are looking to do that for every disease and every patient so that they can get care directed just for them."
Dr. Schlossberg says the key is to avoid getting cancer in the first place and he says people have a lot of control.
"They can get mammograms to make sure that breast cancer is detected early, colonoscopies, pap smears," says Dr. Schlossberg. "They can also live healthy -- everyone knows they are not supposed to smoke and drink and everyone knows they are supposed to exercise, and the more people do to live healthy and the more they do to keep a close eye on themselves, the better chance they have of hopefully never getting to attend a survivors day because they just do well."
Every June, the survivorship of patients with cancer is celebrated culminating on a National Survivors Day to celebrate all those doing so well in their recoveries.