When touring through my dad’s lab as a younger child, I was too young to understand the secrets that lay inside. There was a dimly lit room that we walked into with a freezer in the corner of the room. As we moved toward the freezer, my curiosity began to simmer. To my surprise, it was not something frozen and delightful such as ice cream, but it was a freezer full of motionless mice. Horrified and confused, I asked my dad what this was all about. He told me that he would tell me when I was a little older. When we I was in middle school, I brought up the freezer once again in hopes that he would tell me what it was about. He told me that they were used for the testing of his company’s drugs to treat cancer. Although unfortunate, animal testing is a necessity for the advancement of cancer treatment and working towards a cure. The life of a mouse may save one of your loved ones through cancer treatment advancement.
If there is one study in the medical field that has received the most attention in recent years, it is cancer research. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 39 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. There have been billions of dollars spent to try to find the cure to cancer and to make advancements in treatment. The National Cancer Institute reported that in 2012, there was an estimated 8.2 million cancer-related deaths worldwide.
Time is running out on people’s lives every minute that passes as they fall victim to cancer. It’s imperative that innovations and new discoveries continue to be made in cancer research, but obstacles must be overcome for cancer researchers in order to make these discoveries. Animal testing is an important part of cancer research and is necessary to innovation in the field.
My father, Gijsbertus Pronk, is a cancer researcher and works for Suvica Inc. When asked about his thoughts on the animal testing that he has to do in order to do his research he said “we have to use animals in our studies in order to test whether a potential drug may be useful to treat cancer. Unfortunately, there are still no good alternatives to do this work, and people don’t want to be guinea pigs.”. It is clear that he wishes that he did not have to put animals through testing in order to his work, however it is a necessity for discoveries to be made. This is the main obstacle that cancer researchers face from the public is that they test drugs using animals. However, people need to understand that cancer research is very important in saving lives for the future.
If you put both your hands out straight in front of you and look at your 10 fingers, each one represents a family member. Now put 4 of your fingers down into your palm. Those four fingers represent people you love who are now sick with some type of cancer. Most likely, two of them have a type of cancer that they will not be able to fight back from. Cancer took the lives of two of the people who you love most. However, some people can be less fortunate and cancer takes more than two people that they love. Now think about how the pain that this will cause you. Now compare that to the pain that you feel everyday for animals that are used in the testing of cancer drugs. It’s not the same, is it?
Almost everyone is sad when animals die as a result of scientific testing, yet no one will put their one life on the line to save that animal. If there was a better way to test cancer treatment drugs, animals wouldn’t be tested on. But in order to treat cancer with higher efficiency, animal testing is an unfortunate necessity.