Ah… something has got me really curious… in PT school, my student research project was on the effects of moderate intensity exercise (walking program) on women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer. hmmmm… we looked specifically at white blood cell counts and determined that they were not negatively affected. Other blood tests and quality of life tests were addressed in other studies. Granted, it was a small sample size, but it does mean that potentially the white blood cell counts for women undergoing radiation therapy are not negatively affected and may safely reap the benefits of moderate intensity exercise. I’m just now getting caught up in the exercise and cancer literature. I am realizing that everyone is looking for conclusive evidence-based data to create protocols for any actions or positions on specific issues. The reality is that in brain tumor or cancer research, much of data is conflicting, have holes in the project structure, or it simply does not exist. There are many smaller pilot studies, but it is very rare to find larger studies (randomized controlled studies) where definitive positions can be concluded. Sadly, part of me thinks that there is no real incentive to fund research because many organizations or individuals have too much to lose if, God-Forbid, a “Cure” is found! Because of this, I am pessimistically optimistic about finding a “Cure” anytime soon. The science/resources are there, but the funding isn’t. It seems like we have our feet on both the gas pedal (science) and the brakes (lack of funding) limiting progress in the war on tumors/cancer. I’d like to see larger studies not funded by big companies that have a stake in the results. The problem is… where to turn to for research funding? When looking at research, I always try to find out who is funding it to see if there is any bias to the results. Research is the KEY to progress in the war on tumors/cancer. However, I think a different strategy needs to be implemented. We should promote a more comprehensive strategy not just chasing the “Cure”. I think there needs to be a more focused approach to attacking tumors and cancer, “the K.U.R.” (Knowledge, Unity, Research). To combat these horrible diseases we need to: promote knowledge (preventative education and patient education); promote unity (build up support for fight against tumors and cancer); and finally support research that leads to: more efficient diagnosis, efficient treatment, improved mortality rates, improved quality of life for patients, and diagnosis-specific symptom management. We should not lose sight of “the Cure”. “The Cure” is thrown around so nonchalantly. For years we were chasing a vague and complicated goal. It is now time to fine tune the focus of “research” where we will be able to see measurable results.