Cancer, in its many forms, has long been one of the most devastating and confounding health concerns worldwide.
Characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells, cancers wreak havoc on the body and, if left unchecked, can lead to malfunction of various health systems and, eventually, death. Cancer can originate anywhere in the body and, depending on the type of cancer and the extent to which the cancer has spread throughout other areas of the body, patients may experience a variety of symptoms. For patients and their loved ones, a cancer diagnosis has a life-changing impact, creating significant physical and emotional burdens arising from both the disease, as well as treatments that limit activity and disrupt their daily lives.
Researchers have made great strides in recent years in identifying the genetic mutations and related factors that can drive the seemingly random formation and proliferation of abnormal cells in cancer, as well as genetic markers that may identify patients at a greater risk of developing cancer. These learnings not only enable better screening and diagnoses but also drive the development of a new era of cancer treatments.