The final frontier

A report from London yesterday stated that a team led by a scientist of Indian origin has discovered yet another battlefront against cancer. This comprises knocking out cancer cells and leaving the others unharmed, claims the report citing it as a key finding.

Every time somebody promises a breakthrough in cancer research, the heart leaps a little because what the world needs most right now is a cure for cancer.

Most people if asked what is the need of the hour right now would state peace, or a world without nuclear weapons, maybe even global co-operation or some such phrase that may be necessary but does not touch the lives of ordinary people as much as a disease.

Yet, there may be a few people in the world and fortunate they are, who have not seen a loved one battle cancer. For all the proclamations about miracle cures, there is still a very long way to go before we can say we have conquered cancer.

Those who saw Apple entrepreneur Steve Jobs literally erased from life, becoming smaller and thinner every day as he died of pancreatic cancer, would know how cancer could devour a person. All those rousing phrases about being brave, soldiering on, fighting with courage are little comfort for those who eyes brim with tears as they see somebody they know confront, and in many cases, ultimately succumb to the disease.

All those foundations, fundraisers and awareness clinics are doing sterling work. Yet, it would be the greatest if one could find the ultimate answer, a medicine that could make this dreaded disease as much to be feared as a bout of flu. This may sound Utopian. Yet, for those directly or indirectly touched by the disease, it won't come a day too soon.

We need to beat terrorism, establish world peace and push the boundaries of space exploration. Sooner still, we need to conquer cancerĀ -- it is the final frontier.

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