Safer treatments, targeted therapy become focus on World Cancer Day

- Thursday is World Cancer Day - a day used to raise awareness and education about the disease.

The most recent efforts to fight the disease are now being focused on safer treatments and targeted therapy.

Dr. Dipti Patel-Donnelly, a board-certified oncologist with Virginia Cancer Specialists, joined us to talk about newer and safer treatments.

"Targeted therapy is - kill the thing that actually causes the normal cell to become a cancer cell. If you can do that , you can limit some of the toxicity that we traditionally see with chemotherapy," Patel-Donnelly said.

Finding the event that triggered the normal cell to become cancerous - and targeting that event - lessens side-effects like hair loss, she said.

Immunotherapies are also being used to harness the patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer.

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