More than 6 out of 10 Belgians fear getting cancer

According to research carried out by the market research bureau Ipsos the fear of getting cancer is great among Belgians. Of the 1,056 people surveyed 62% say that they rate the chance of getting cancer to be high to very high. This is despite a new immune therapy treatment opening new perspectives in the fight against cancer.
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The survey was carried out between 30 October and 4 November last year and its results were validated by Belgian oncologists. The survey shows that possible fatal consequences of contracting cancer scare Belgians the most.

Second in the list of fears is the effect that getting cancer would have on one’s family and children. Third in the list is the fear of pain and of a poorer standard of living. 64% of those questioned said that they believed that cancer will be eradicated eventually, but then only in the long term.

However, there is already cause for optimism. The test result for a new treatment using immune therapy carried out by a team at Brussels’ Dutch-Medium Free University have been encouraging. Immune therapy differs fundamentally from chemotherapy in that rather than trying to destroy the tumour it attempts to build up the patient’s immune system to the extent that it attacks the tumour without damaging healthy cells.

Moreover, immune therapy deliveries durable answers for various forms of cancer.

Professor Neyns carried out his research on more than 100 patients with melanomas in an advanced or highly advanced stage. 1 in 3 of those that took part in the tests saw their cancers recede dramatically.

The study was also able to identify factors in people’s blood that influence the success of the treatment. If these factors are favourable at the start of the immune therapy course, there is a 70% chance that it will be successful.