Pointing out that an increase is observed in the number of cancer cases with each passing year both in Turkey and in the world, Yeditepe University Hospitals Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan claimed, "In Turkey there are many specific reasons for the increase. These include advances in preventive medicine, many developments in medicine, and the reduction in loss of life with all the supportive treatments brought by modern life”.


"Lung Cancer in Turkey Ranks at the First Place"

Stating that cancers that develop because of infectious diseases decrease in numbers while cancers developing due to old age increase, Yeditepe University Hospitals Medical Oncology Department Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan told the following regarding the cancer cases in Turkey:

“The most common cancers in men are prostate and lung cancers followed by colon cancers. Among the most common cancers in women are breast and lung cancer. In recent years, unfortunately, gender equality has become more pronounced in bad habits. Lung cancer is unfortunately began to take first place in many parts of the world as well as in the recent figures in Turkey as women are nearing men in smoking habits."


"The Number of People Living With Cancer Has Increased With Treatment"

Pointing out that the cases of cancer have increased in numbers in Turkey and in the world as the population number increases, however the losses of life due to cancer have decreased, Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan said, “Today, since cancer has become a chronic disease, it is possible to see a cancer patient around everyone. Actually, the table should be looked at from the bright side. Advances in preventive medicine, many advances in medicine and all supportive treatments brought by modern life have reduced the loss of life".


"Revolution in Medicine with Immune Treatments"

Reminding that the important developments in recent years have a very important place at the point where the cancer picture is today, Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan shared the following information about the treatment: “If the cancer has progressed to a size that cannot be removed by surgery and has spread to the organs in the first place, chemotherapy is applied. However, depending on the patient's condition, chemotherapy treatment is applied at different stages of the treatment. In addition to the traditional cell killing drugs that we have been using for a long time in chemotherapy treatment, smart drugs have been on the agenda especially in recent years. Finally, immune therapies, called immunotherapy, have been an important development”.

Stating that immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of many cancers, Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan continued his words as follows: “Previously, we were looking at where the cancer originated from in cancer treatment. However, with this treatment, it doesn't matter where the cancer starts or where it is headed. With some special staining techniques, we determine in advance which cancers will get a response from this treatment. Cancers in this group can get a full response no matter where they emerge from or to which organ they jump. "

"Seventy Percent Can Get Very Good Results"

Reminding that one third of cancers are completely cured today, and life is prolonged in another third, Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan pointed out the importance of screening and early diagnosis methods at this point. However, he pointed out the fears people feel about having screening, especially in the current period, and continued his words as follows: “Patients hesitate to go to the hospital for screening or control. When I talk to my colleagues in this process, I hear that many patients who do not go to the hospital have passed the treatment phase. However, this period will take a long time. Moreover, hospitals are safe areas where all precautions are taken. For this reason, people should have their screenings done in hospitals without fear. "


"Reason for Avoiding Scans: Fostered Fear"

Stating that although very good results have been obtained at the rate of up to 70 percent in cancer, there is still fear in people about the disease itself, Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan said, “While success in treatment is so high, it is necessary to investigate why cancer is so feared, that the disease is matched with loss of life. As a society, we are used to motivating and teaching people by scaring them. We think that people will go to screenings out of fear of cancer. However, people do not have their screening, saying 'I will not recover even if cancer is diagnosed anyway'. I think one reason for the delay in screening is due to an exaggerated, fueled fear of cancer".


"We Can Reduce the Risk, But We Can’t Nullify It"

Reminding that cancer can be prevented with very simple precautions, Yeditepe University Koşuyolu Hospital Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan said, “These include not gaining weight, an active lifestyle, and not consuming cigarette and alcohol. Even if all the precautions are taken, unfortunately there is a possibility of getting cancer. Our message here is "yes, we will live healthy, but we will not limit ourselves beyond reason". We can reduce the risk but can never nullify it. Early screening programs gain importance at this point”. Prof. Dr. Okan Kuzhan warned that it should not be forgotten that cancer is a treatable disease even when it is diagnosed despite all these precautions.

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