Math helps us in small ways every day — from paying the cashier at the supermarket to figuring out how much to tip a server to calculating ingredients as we make dinner. It’s relied upon for larger-scale projects that also impact many people’s daily lives, such as offering assistance for cancer patients.
A recent Wall Street Journal article detailed how integral the field of mathematics is becoming to researchers dedicated to finding innovative approaches to treating and preventing cancer.
For instance, scientists at DarwinHealth are concentrating on ways to best root out abnormal activity in proteins that could suggest the development of cancer cells and growth of existing cancers. Such proteins work as the “on/off” switch for cancer cells, researchers say, so locating and understanding them can aid in the development of new drugs to stop the spread of cancer — an invaluable source of assistance for cancer patients, to say the least.
Math comes into play in such programs as the VIPER algorithm, a computer-based model that helps researchers manage massive amounts of data at once to shed light on which proteins are deviating from their normal behavior. When that determination is made, researchers can better target those proteins with medication and other therapies to turn the cancer cell’s switch to “off.”
DarwinHealth is certainly not the only organization to take this approach; according to the WSJ article, scientists across the globe are increasingly embracing quantitative methods in their cancer research. This trend goes hand in hand with the developing technology field — computers can crunch numbers a lot quicker than scientists.
Numbers are also important to us here at LifeCredit. We provide financial assistance for cancer patients through our living-benefit loans, paying up to half of an individual’s life-insurance policy’s death benefit. We work with our clients to do the math so they can pay their medical bills, manage their households or meet other unexpected financial challenges.
Though math may not have been many people’s favorite subject in school, it should certainly be appreciated by many now for its positive impact on the lives of countless cancer patients.