Despite its prevalence, cancer is a mysterious disease. The cause of some cancers is still not established, and treatments that involve a more holistic approach sometimes have as much chance of success as the conventional model.
In fact, the current cancer therapies that deal only with the immediate condition have been found wanting in a new study.
Hodgkin's disease is one of the successes of conventional cancer treatment. Intensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy have resulted in a cure rate of up to 85 per cent.
But researchers have found women successfully treated for Hodgkin's are 136 times more likely to go on to develop breast cancer. Secondary cancers is a serious long-term side-effect of treatment, say the researchers rather bizarrely.
(Source: Lancet Oncology, 2003; 4: 207-14).