Advanced-stage cancer is a term used to describe cancer that is unlikely to be cured. For some people, the cancer may already be advanced when they first learn they have the disease. For others, the cancer may not advance until years after the initial diagnosis. Although not typically curable, advanced cancers are still treatable with today’s cutting-edge treatments.
Advanced or Metastatic: is there a difference?
Yes, there’s a difference between advanced and metastatic cancer. Advanced cancers may or may not be metastatic. Advanced cancers can be localized meaning they remain in or near the body part where the cancer originated. Metastatic cancer metastatic spreads to distant body parts. Not all metastatic cancers are considered to be advanced cancers. Some cancers, such as testicular cancer for instance, can spread to other parts of the body and still be very curable. Different doctors may use the term “advanced cancer” in different ways, so make sure you clarify your diagnosis before deciding on any course of treatment.
Advanced cancer can be treatable.
In the case of advanced cancer, treatments using radiation, chemotherapy (and other drugs) and surgery can be given to shrink the tumor(s), slow its growth, control or relieve symptoms to help you live longer. However, as the disease advances, standardized treatments are often not enough.
New technologies are revolutionizing how we attack advanced cancer.
With each passing day, researchers learn more about cancer and how to better fight this disease. New, cutting-edge diagnostics and treatments offer hope to extend life and make advanced cancer a manageable disease. Treatments like:
T-cell treatments are a type of immunotherapy, which involve taking a patient’s own immune cells, the white blood cells called T-cells, and reprogramming them to attack the tumor.
Dendritic Cell Vaccines stimulate your own immune system to recognize and fight cancer cells.
Chemo-Sensitivity Testing tests chemotherapy options on your specific cancer outside your body to minimize harmful side effects.
Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs) build up an army of killer T-cells that recognize the tumor, to dramatically boost your body’s ability to destroy it.
Genetic sequencing identifies unique markers on your tumor to help your oncologist target the cancer cells more precisely while sparing healthy cells.
CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology is being used to edit the specific genetic alterations driving cell mutation.
Preserving your live tumor lets you take advantage of the most personalized treatments and cutting-edge diagnostics. Every tumor is unique and contains important information critical to your treatment. However, tumors are not preserved alive by hospitals; instead, they are routinely discarded. With StoreMyTumor, you can store tissue collected from a surgery or biopsies, or fluid from ascites drainage (paracentesis) that can be used for customized treatments that may attack the cancer more effectively.