There have  been tremendous  advances in medicine.   Over the past several decades positions and the health care system have done a tremendous job of decreasing deaths from heart disease and stroke.   However our fight with cancer has not been as successful.   Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in research and multiple public health measures including stopping smoking campaigns and laws to decrease environmental exposure to carcinogens in the United States, nearly two million people are diagnosed with cancer and the death rate tops 600,000 annually.

 in the last 40 years,  we have developed a much greater understanding of cancer  and realizing it’s not  a diagnosis of the disease of an individual organ but rather a cellular and genetic issue where cancer cells go awry and genetic code mutates.

 the new  therapies often called immunotherapy concentrates on harnessing human body’s own immune system to fight cancer.   this therapy probably has the greatest promise and in some cases has been successful in reducing  previously very difficult to treat cancers.

 Also genetic testing of individuals will likely also increase the effectiveness (and hopefully safety) of medications in the upcoming years.

Source: The Economist explains: Why cancer has not been cured | The Economist