In the News
Study says it’s possible and more frequent than ever thought
-Julie Ryan Evans
Everyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer has surely wished, willed and prayed for it to just go away … and it seems that sometimes it does – with no treatment.
A recent study conducted in Norway shows that such cases of disappearing cancer are more prevalent and linked to more invasive cancers, such as breast cancer, than ever before thought possible.
Some are skeptical of the study’s results.
“Their simplification of a complicated issue is both overreaching and alarming,” said Robert A. Smith, director of breast cancer screening at the American Cancer Society.
Others see huge potential in the findings.
“If the spontaneous remission hypothesis is credible, it should cause a major re-evaluation in the approach to breast cancer research and treatment,” stated Dr. Robert M. Kaplan and Dr. Franz Porzsolt.
“People who are familiar with the broad range of behaviors of a variety of cancers know spontaneous regression is possible,” he said. “But what is shocking is that it can occur so frequently,” said Dr. Barnett Kramer, director of the Office of Disease Prevention at the National Institutes of Health.
No one is saying women should stop getting mammograms. But if the study is accurate, it does then raise the issue about technology that is able to detect cancer earlier and earlier – and would some cancers, if left alone, simply disappear without the invasive treatments.
Finding cancer and not treating it would be a huge shift in thinking, but one -if proven effective – that would make a lot of people’s lives a lot better. Let’s hope it’s proven so.