According to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 15.5 million Americans with a history of cancer who are alive today; 1.34 million of those survivors are here in Florida. The evolution of cancer treatment over the last 40 years has resulted in much better outcomes for patients; today more people are living with cancer than ever before.
WHAT CAUSES CANCER?
DNA is the genetic material that makes up every cell. When DNA becomes damaged or changed, it produces mutations in genes that affect normal cell growth and division. Gene mutations can be inherited from a parent or, more commonly, acquired during a person’s lifetime due to environmental factors, such as ultraviolet radiation from the sun or cigarette smoking. Other mutations occur for still unknown reasons, resulting in various types of cancer.
In addition to unregulated cell growth, when a cancer occurs it means there is also a failure in the immune system’s ability to recognize these abnormal cells and destroy them. When normal cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced with new cells. However, the growth of cancer cells is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form more abnormal cells. Cancer cells can also invade other tissues, something that normal cells cannot do.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS CANCER TREATMENT TODAY?
Remarkable advances have been made in the treatment of cancer, especially over the past two decades. Through research, we have learned that each person’s cancer is actually a unique disease because every tumor or malignancy has its own distinctive DNA. This discovery has resulted in many new and highly effective targeted treatments and immunotherapies that are based on a patient’s unique genetic profile. Genetic sequencing
of a patient’s tumor can help identify which drugs or treatments will be most effective for that individual.
Today, millions of people are surviving cancer and most oncologists feel that cancer is becoming more like a chronic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension. In other words, even though no cure has been found yet for many types of cancer, the disease is something that can be managed, and many people can live with cancer when it is being controlled by treatment.
Early detection and diagnosis, as well as advances such as immunotherapies and targeted treatments (most of which are available in pill form) are also making it possible to live with cancer and continue to have a good quality of life. Further, improvements in chemotherapy and secondary medications to manage side effects, such as nausea or fatigue, offer better outcomes for patients than ever before.
WORLD-CLASS CANCER CARE CLOSE TO HOME
Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) has put together a network of expert, board-certified physicians who bring world class cancer treatments to local communities, both large and small, across the state. With nearly 100 locations, FCS is the largest
independent oncology/hematology group in the United States. That status puts the practice on the leading edge of clinical trial research and gives FCS physicians access to the newest, most innovative treatments.
CLINICAL TRIALS LEAD TO TOMORROW’S TREATMENTS AND CURES
Through a strategic partnership with Sarah Cannon, one of the world’s leading clinical trial organizations, FCS offers more access to national clinical trials than any other oncology practice in Florida. In recent years, 84% of all new cancer drugs were studied in clinical trials with FCS participation, prior to approval.
In addition to a robust clinical research program, Florida Cancer Specialists offers a number of services, such as an in-house specialty pharmacy, an in-house hematopathology lab and financial counselors at every location. Patients can now receive the most advanced care, including immunotherapies, chemotherapy, targeted treatments and cutting-edge, precision technologies, at the same location where they see their oncologist and get their lab tests done, not only increasing convenience for patients, but also improving their quality of life. For more information, visit FLCancer.com
Florida cancer Specialists
9776 Bonita Beach Rd SE,
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Naples – Goodlette
1100 Goodlette Road
Naples, FL 34102
Naples – Napa Ridge
6360 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 201
Naples, FL 34119
Naples – Sierra Meadows
8350 Sierra Meadows Blvd
Naples, FL 34114
681 4th Ave North
Naples, FL 34102