The 10 Deadliest Cancers & Why There's No Cure - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The 10 Deadliest Cancers & Why There's No Cure

MSNBC.COM - The dread and fear that can come with a cancer diagnosis have their roots in its killer nature: It's the No. 2cause of death in Americans, second only to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even when diagnosed early and attacked with the latest treatments, it still has the power to kill.

To help raise money to find cures and treatments for cancer patients, the "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon will air on ABC, NBC and CBS and other networks and cable stations starting at 8 p.m. ET Friday. The telethon will feature a host of celebrity guests, including George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Renee Zellweger and Will Smith.

"'Stand Up To Cancer' represents collaborative efforts" to provide funding for cancer research, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, told MyHealthNewsDaily.

"We would not be where we are if basic and clinical science wasn't funded," Lichtenfeld said. "Basic science teaches us about mechanisms, about how drugs may be effective, and we take that info and put it into a clinic to find out whether or not those new ideas work in cancer treatment."

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.

About $200 billion has been spent on cancer research since the early 1970s, and the five-year survival rate for all people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. has risen from about 50 percent in the 1970s to 65 percent today.

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