Like many of us, Dr. Hadiyah Green has also had the unfortunate luck to come face to face with cancer.
But in her case, instead of battling it herself, she lost not one, but two of the closest people in her life. Sadly, she is far from the only one when it comes to losing family or friends to this deadly disease.
Only in her case, the determination to defeat it once and for all has shone through.
But instead of taking the usual approach of raising awareness or money, Dr. Green has taken it upon herself to find a cure using her unique skill set.
The result? Lasers. Read on if you wish to know more on this intriguing matter.
Hadiyah was raised by her uncle and aunt, General Lee Smith and Ora Smith in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Being an excellent student, she then went on and continued her studies in physics at the A&M University in Alabama.
She was the first member of her family to finish college. A short while after her graduation, her aunt had some bad news for her. It turns out she had been diagnosed with cancer as far back as 8 years ago, but had chosen to keep it a secret.
Her aunt refused both radiation or chemotherapy, announcing she’d rather die than go through such treatment. Dr. Green, devastated at that time, failed to understand such a proclamation.
Three months later, her aunt passed away. The pain was already great enough at such a loss, but misery does indeed love company. A short period afterward, her uncle was also diagnosed with cancer. Esophageal cancer, to be more precise.
And unlike his deceased wife, he had decided on undergoing treatment. Doctors gave him three months to live as well. But, the pleasant surprise was that Dr.Green managed to keep him alive for another 10 years by nursing her uncle!
Still, the chemo and radiation turned out to do more harm than good, just as Hadiyah’s late aunt had predicted. By the end of the whole process he was completely disfigured and nothing like the man she used to know.
Dr.Green couldn’t help but wonder why the treatment had such a huge effect on his whole body when he had cancer solely in one spot?
From then on, she decided to dedicate her life to look for a treatment whose side effects aren’t so terrible.
During her work on her doctorate, she began reading about laser technology. This was the period where her idea came to her.
It sounded plain and simple and yet so distant: How can one use lasers to solely and directly target the cancer cells?
Thus began her 3-year long lab research on developing nanoparticle-based technology which will aim for destroying the cancer cells without harming the surrounding healthy cells in the process.
And believe it or not, at the an age as young as 35, Dr.Green has succeded.
She succeeded in killing cancer cells in the bodies of mice without harming their healthy cells. This makes her the first person to succeed in destroying cancer using laser technology.
The Diference Between Radiation and Lasers
What Exactly is Radiation?
To put it simply, radiation is the use of high-energy targeted waves or particles to kill or at least damage cancer cells. These can be gamma rays, protons, x-rays and electron beams.
Compared to chemotherapy, radiation is a fairly local treatment, meaning it doesn’t have an effect on a person’s whole body. Of course, this all depends on the type of cancer in question and the manner at which it is administered.
Radiation’s got a big downside though. Namely, it can have extreme side effects on a patient’s body. That’s why, since certain limitations exist to how much certain parts of your body can take, if you’ve already gone through it in the past, you may not be allowed to again.
Consequences of Radiation
Due to the damage of cells radiation offers, this can lead to you developing other types of cancer in the long run. A deadly irony, we concur.
But there are other unwanted radiation symptoms, such as:
- Skin issues
- Loss of hair
- Issues with eating
- Anemia (low blood count)
- Extreme tiredness
All of the side effects listed above can not only be painful, but also emotionally, mentally and physically damaging to the patients undergoing radiation therapy.
That’s why it’s so very important to keep looking for other, better therapy alternatives.
And What is Laser Therapy?
The word ‘laser’ is actually an acronym. It stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
It can not only be used to treat the consequences of chemotherapy, but also the cancer itself!
Such a thing is done by:
- Destroying or shrinking the tumor through the use of heat.
- Activate a certain chemical which is called a PDT (photosensitizing agent). This chemical only destroys the cancerous cells.
The Three Types of Cancer-Treating Lasers
1. CO2 Lasers
What they do is vaporize and cut the tissue, without there being any heavy bleeding or damage to the surrounding or deep tissues.
These lasers are mainly used for pre-cancer situations as well as those cancers who are still in their early stages.
2. Argon Lasers
These lasers also act similarly to the CO2 kind, but go only a short distance into one’s tissues.
They are primarily used for treating certain eye tumors, skin problems and even for removing any polyps from your colon before they can become cancer.
They can be used in combination with PDT (light-sensitive drugs) to kill any cancer cells.
3. Neodymium: Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet (Nd:YAG) Lasers
They can go deeper into the tissue than others. That means they are better suited for getting to those usually hard-to reach places, like your large intestine and esophagus.
These lasers can also travel through very small optical fibers, which can bend, be put in tumors, and get heated in order to kill the cancer.
The Limits of Using Lasers
The problem is that currently a very small number of practitioners or doctors have been trained to use lasers.
Plus there’s the fact that any laser equipment is expensive and also rather large and heavy. There have been steps taken to improve this, but we still have a long way to go.
Additionally, the safety measures are very strict as lasers can pose a great danger to the naked, unprotected eye.
And then there’s the final blow that the effect of the laser does not last forever, and so, it may have to be repeated until a way can be found to make the healing results permanent.
Consequences of Laser Treatment
The only known side effects as of currently are the possible pain during the treatment itself, as well expected higher temperatures several days following the treatment.
The Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation
Dr.Green is not doing this for the money. She stated she wanted everyone to have access to such treatment, no matter how high or low their income is.
This is why she wants to provide the treatment through a non-profit industry, rather than a pharmaceutical one.
She has named the research center she had founded after her uncle and aunt. The purpose of this center is to try and find a cure for cancer, primarily one that focuses on using lasers.
This foundation had received 1.1 million U.S. dollars for furthering her patent-pending work.
We support her fully in this battle and wish her luck for the upcoming future.