The dread and fear that can come with a cancer diagnosis have their roots in its killer nature. Cancers can become resistant to treatment happens in the genes of the cell. These gene changes make the cell behave differently to a normal cell. Cancer cells can continue to mutate so that they become more and more abnormal.
But why can’t we find the secret weapon to beat cancer once and for all?
One reason is that cancer is not just one disease even individual tumours can vary substantially from one patient to the next and the same type of tumour in different parts of the body can respond differently to medication.
Just like any other organism, cancer cells are trying to survive, and they are very good at it. They quickly spread to multiple parts of the body, and they mutate constantly, rendering existing medicines ineffective.
While there are many successful treatments today that didn't exist just a couple decades ago, a wholesale "cure for cancer" remains elusive for many reasons. There are more than 100 types of cancer, characterized by abnormal cell growth. There are many different causes, ranging from radiation to chemicals to viruses; an individual has varying degrees of control over exposure to cancer-causing agents.
Cancer cells, and how they grow, remain unpredictable and in some cases mysterious. Even after seemingly effective treatments, crafty cancer cells are able to hide out in some patients and resurface.