Nnumber of deaths from cancer continues to increase each year. Cancer is a disease has touched every family at least once. It is a disease that can kill you in a matter of years or months. There are several different types of cancer, some of which both men and women can be diagnosed with and some of which only one sex can actually be diagnosed with. Today researchers are finding more and more advances into what causes cancer. I myself am a cancer survivor and my treatment at the time in 1992 was considered experimental.
My older brother who is now 32 years old was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, when he was 2 years old; he too was a part of a research study that he is still participating in today. Cancer research is very important in the fight against cancer. Just from me and my brother cancer experience I’m very confident that someone will live because of the research that took place during our treatments. Cancer Research is at the forefront of finding a cure for this deadly disease. In 2007 1,444,920 people in the U.
S were diagnosed with some form of cancer. 559,650 died from cancer the same year. 206. 3 billion dollars were spent on health care related to cancer treatment in 2007. Over the years these numbers are drastically increased in the past three years. Research to discover earlier detection methods and treatments are important in helping save lives in the fight against cancer (www. cancer. gov, 2007). Cancer occurs when normal cells growth goes out of control. Normally when a cell dies a new cell is born to take its place and the normal cell and dead ones are equal.
When cancer occurs there is a disruption of the balance of normal and dead cells. This cause the cells to grow uncontrollably, or cause the cells to undergo cell suicide this happens through a process called “apoptosis. ” This is the process that old cells usually destroy themselves (Kleinsmith, Kerrigan, Kelly and Hollen, 2004 p. 5). Cancers are classified as either a solid tumor or and liquid tumor. Solid tumor grows on organs and liquid tumors grow in different bodily fluids (Kelvin and Tyson, 2004 p. 2).
Cancer cells start growing uncontrollably, they flow through that blood stream and lymph system, to other parts of the body and begin to take the place of normal cells and tissue this is when the cancer metastasis (spreads to another area of the body from the original location of the outbreak) (Kleinsmith, Kerrigan, Kelly and Hollen, 2004 p. 8). Millions of people today are living with cancer. Through cancer research, researchers have found that there are steps that we can take to help lower our chances of contracting cancer.
This is through life styles changes, like not smoking, what we eat, the amount of time we spend under direct sun light, and exercising. Although there is no guarantee that you want develop cancer, these changes greatly helps your chances of not developing the disease (www. cancer. org, 2007). From the research that has taken place so far we have found ways of determining when a peson has cancer in its early stages. Due to the large number of different kinds of cancers, there are varies ways in which cancer can be detected.
Breast Cancer for instance can be detected by performing self-examination of the breast, or by visiting the doctor who can perform a Mammogram. This is a machine that was created from researchers findings that help to pinpoint if Breast Cancer is present in the breast by x-ray (www. cancer. gov, 2008). Other Methods of detection are Pap tests, colonoscopy, biopsies, the PSA and other tumor marker blood tests, as well as other imaging tests (www. cancer. org, 2007). Each type of cancer has its own way of detection. Early detection of cancers presence will greatly increase your chances of being a survivor of this disease.
If the disease is caught in time, it found it does not have enough time for the cells to gain enough strength to fight back at the therapy that researchers have found so effective for the form of cancer that a person is diagnosed with (www. who. int/en, 2008). Due to research using modern science treatments for cancer has taken great strides and there are still a long way to go to improve, recovery and healing and a better quality of life for cancer survivors after treatment has ended. There is several different method of treatment for cancer. The Method that a patient would receive is based on the form of cancer and the patient.
The main fact taken into consideration when determining the best treat is the severity of the cancer. What stage and the type of cancer are also considered when researching the best method of treatment. A patient’s age is also a big factor in what method a patient is considered for. Chemotherapy is the most commonly used form of treatment used to fight cancer. Over half of all patients that are diagnosed with cancer receive this form of treatment. There are several different methods that this drug can be administered. It can be given by IV, oral drugs, rectally or all three can be used at the same time.
Many of the chemotherapy treatments lead to hair loss during the course of the treatment (www. medicalonline. com, 1997). One other major form of treatment would be radiation therapy. The method “zaps” the cancer from the body by focusing on the infected area. It damages the existing cancer cells and discourages new cells from growing. The method of treatment can be given to a patient externally exposing the affected area with high levels of radiations. There are also implants that can be placed under the skin that release small amounts of radiations at a time (www. medicalonline. com, 1997).
Clinical trials are one form of research in which experimentally treatments are used to combat cancer. These forms of research are voluntarily. Patients that decide to take part in these trials have a chance to try new and promising forms of treatment that are not available to people outside of the trials. When working with clinical trials their approach to treating your cancer is more effective than the regular approach that is taken for non trial participants. People that take part in these trials are monitored closely by highly trained Oncologist. A result from this study helps others that have been diagnosed with your form of cancer (www.medicalonline. com, 1997).
Since the computer age has advance so much and biomedical and informational technologies have revealed that cancer is very complex. The unique make up of cancer is different for each person and makes each person’s cancer individualized. “The big picture of cancer research extends to mathematicians, physicists, and chemists as well as others in the physical sciences and relies on their skills and talents to enhance our ability to manage large amounts of data as well as developing novel applications in clinical research. ”(www. cancer. gov, 2006).
“The quality of cancer care is a major national concern. Evidence suggests that some patients with cancer do not receive the newer, more effective treatments. Moreover, in some cases, there remains substantial disagreement or uncertainty about what constitutes optimal care, especially from the patient’s perspective”. (Quality of Cancer Care, 2002) Research that is taken place everyday better prepares doctors and nurses to better care for people that have devloped cancer. In researching what causes cancer, researchers define a core set of cancer outcome measures that help compare the intervention across studies over time.
These methods must be patient centered, and accepted by providers and insurance companies. It is very important that they show some form of improvement in the overall treatment of the cancer. They must also enhance the quality of cancer communications by understanding and gaining new information about the cancer being researched (Quality of Cancer Care, 2002). Researching cancer is very important. Without cancer research I’m not sure I would be sitting here right now typing this paper. I may not have an older brother. The different treatments that have come from the research have saved millions if not billions of lives.
Today people that survive cancer are here because of the hard work of scientist and technologist that are constantly looking for way to destroy the causes of cancer. Clinical trials are important to ensuring that this research takes place and works. Just imagine how many people have died because the treatment was not effective in treating their form of cancer. Cancer research is advancing everyday scientist are now close to being able to determine what genes actually play a large role in what causes cancer. Also through research they have developed new ways to identify cancer in its early stages.
Being able to diagnose this disease early is crucial to being able to get the patient the treatment they need to survivor cancer. Cancer research is very important to ending the loss of life to cancer.
References •National Cancer Institute. (2008). Why What We Are Doing Is So Important. Posted 06/16/2008, at http://www. cancer. gov/aboutnci/servingpeople/WhyItIsImportant/Slide2 •Kleinsmith, L. J, Kerrigan, D, Kelly, J and Hollen, B (2004, September). Understanding Cancer and Related Topics. Slides 3-8. Retrieved August 12, 2008, from http://www. cancer.gov/cancertopics/understandingcancer/cancer/Slide1 •Kelvin J, F. and Tyson L, B. (2004).
100 Questions & Answers about Cancer Symptoms and Cancer Treatment Side Effects. •World Health Organization. (2008). Screening and Early Detection of Cancer. Retrieved August 12, 2008, from Http://www. who. int/cancer/detection/en/ •Medical Online. (1997). Treatment For Cancer. Retrieved August 13,2008, from http://www. medicalonline. com. au/medical/cancer/treatment-for-cancer. htm •National Cancer Institue. (2002). Quality of Cancer Care. Retrieved August 13, 2008, from, http://plan2003. cancer. gov/infra/quality. htm.