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Gleevec: A Pill To Sustain Cancer Patients For Years [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 11, 2017 08:30 AM EST

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the globe with eight million cases accounted in the year 2015 alone. A data in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that Gleevec (Imatinib Mesylate), can turn cancer into a bearable disease and sustain a patient's health for 10 years or so.

Gleevec is a pill for patients with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) and is taken one pill a day by mouth as instructed on Gleevec's information page.

New data were released that the pill could help cancer patients manage and bear the pains that cancer brings. A surprising result of 83 percent of the patients using the pill have lived well over a decade; a result that Dr. Richard Silver, an oncologist and hematologist at the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, to be the greatest thrill of his life. He was one of the doctors who administered the use of Imatinib to patients, the AJC News reports.

Dr. Silver said in an interview to the NBC News that Gleevec was the most successful personalized medicine that's currently being used and is proven to be working. With its success and numbers, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society said that around 36,000 to 100,000 cancer patients are CML victors and survivors.

Bharat Shah, a cancer patient who was diagnosed with only six months to live, said the pill saved his life. He participated in the clinical trial of the effectiveness of Gleevec and 17 years since he first started using it, he feels alive more than ever. He plays golf and does things that a normal and a healthy person would do.

Despite the various side-effects caused by taking the pill - swelling, dizziness and nausea as the most common - patients who are in Gleevec prescription preferred its continued intake than opting for chemotherapy, which really goes after the rapid cell division but also causes damages in the intestine linings, sores inside the mouth, thinning of hair follicles and the disturbance of healthy tissues.

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