Cancer Essay, Research Paper
B. What Is Cancer
C. Types Of Cancer
II. How Cancer is Diagnosed
III. Seven warning Signs
IV. Possible Causes Of Cancer
D. The Sun
E. The Air
Cancer is the second cause of death in the United States Heart
disease is the first. Each year more than a million Americans get medical
care for cancer and over 330,000 die from the disease. Cancer is one of
man?s dreaded diseases. It attacks people of all ages. Cancer kills more
children than any other disease. About 4,000 children under 15 years old
die of cancer each year. half of the deaths are from leukemia. Leukemia
is a cancer of the blood forming tissues.
Cancer has been observed in many forms of animal and plant life,
as well as in man. More than 200 kinds of cancer affect human beings
and each kind differs from the others. All cancer start in living cells.
Researchers are still looking for answers to many questions about cancer.
For instance, scientists do not know what exactly causes cancer. Once
researchers find the cause of cancer then they will be able to find ways to
cure and prevent the disease. They also want to develop better ways to
detect and treat s all forms of cancer.
In the United States, the National Cancer Institue has played a
major role in Cancer research since it was established in 1937. The
American Cancer Society also support research programs. The National
Cancer Act of 1971 expanded government efforts in cancer research.
Cancer research and control programs have made definite progress.
In 1900, cancer was almost always fatal. I the 1930?s fewer than one of
every five patients were saved. Today, doctors successfully treat one of
every three people who get cancer. Some experts believe that if all present
knowledge were used promptly in every case of cancer at least half of all
cancer patients could be saved. The American Cancer Society was
founded in 1913. The first United States cancer hospital was founded in
1884, in New York City. Which later became the Memorial Hospital in
1889. The very first cancer hospital was founded in Reims, France in the
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a general term for more than 250 diseases that are
characterized by uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells. Cancer cells can
spread through the blood and the clear fuild that bathes body cells called
lymph to start new cancers in other parts of the body. Normal cells can
convert to abnormal cancer cells. Cancer cells reproduce more rapidly
than normal cells and ignore normal regulations of when, how, and where
to grow. Normal cells are more concerned with function than growth.
Cancer cells are more concerned with growth than function. Cancer cells
seem to be able to grow anywhere in the body. Different kinds of cancer
grow at different rates and respond to different kinds of treatments. But
all produce use less tissue and keep normal cells from getting
nourishment. Cancer cells that are not treated displace normal cells and
eventually destroy them.
Types of Cancer
There are about 250 different types of cancers that exist. They are
classified into two ways, one is the part of the body where the cancer cells
first develop and the second the type of body tissue where the cancer
begins. Cancer that starts in the tissue that forms the skin and linings of
the body organs is called carcinoma. Cancers of the skin, breast, and body
systems are carcinomas and are the most common cancer that begins in
the tissue that forms the body?s supporting structures is sarcoma. Some
examples are bones, muscles and catalogue.
Other types of cancer are skin, lung, colo-retal which is colon
cancer, breast, uterine-Cervix, ovary, vaginal, testicular, mouth and
throat, larynx, exophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver and bone. There are
many more. The most common for young people are osteogenic sarcoma
which is known as bone cancer, Ewings sarcoma another bone cancer,
lymphomas, and rhadomyosarcoma.
How Cancer Is Diagnosed
Cancer has often been called the silent killer. It gives no warning of it?s
presence in the early stages. Cancer can be diagnosed during a physical
examination. In woman a doctor can check for cancer of the cervix and
the uterine by a pap smear test. The doctor can also use X-ray technology
to detect cancer. A diopsy is another method of accurately diagnosing
cancer. Doctors urge that every person have at least one complete physical
Seven Warning Signs
There are seven warning signs that a person should be aware of:
Unusual bleeding or discharge
A lump or thickening in the breast or elsewhere
A sore that does not heal.
Change in bowel or bladder habits.
Hoarseness or a continuing cough.
Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
Change in a wart or mole.
Any of these symptoms one should consult a doctor promptly. The early
detection of cancer the better.
Possible Causes Of Cancer
No one know exactly what causes cancer. Most scientists believe
that there is no single cause and that many factors maybe involed. A
person?s work or place where he or she lives may contribute to the disease.
People who are frequently in contact with certain knids of chemicals may
develop the disease. Manufacturers whose products require the use of
carcinogens which are cancer-producing substances, take steps to safe
guard workers against exposure to them. Carcinogens consist of
humanmade and natural chemicals found in small quantities in the air,
water, food, and the work place. It has been difficult proving that viruses
are the cause of cancer. So viruses don?t play a big role in causing
cancer, yet. Some doctors believe that a tendency to develop certain types
of cancer may be inherited. The skin is greatly effected the sun. The
ultraviolet radiation from the sun harms the skin because of the direct
exopsure to sunlight. Lung cancer has shown the greatest increase of any
form of cancer in the past 35 years. We inhale about 20 breaths per
minute. The air we breathe is directly related to our quality of health.
Cigarette smoking and air pollution are two main factoers that are
increasing lung cancer. Industrail wastes, automobile exhausts, and
household sources cause air pollutions.
Treatments Of Cancer
Cancer treatment has improved tremedously in the past 50 years. In
the 1930?s the disease was stopped in only about 20% of cancer patients.
Now that percentage is about 41%. Surgery has been used to treat breast
and intestinal cancer. This method has been successful. Surgery has
cured more cancers than radiation and chemotherapy. Radiation is
successfull in stopping some forms of cancer such as cervical cancer.
Cobalt units are used in the treatment of radiation. It penetrates a tumor
without damaging the skin. These two methids, radiation and surgery are
used when the cancer is located in a local spot that has not spread through
the body. Chemotherapy is used to destroy malignant cells without
excessive destruction of the normal cells. Some risks of chemotherapy are
severe nausea, vomitting, and the loss of hair on head.
There are some possible prevenions in getting cancer. Primary and
Secondary prevention are some possibilities. Primary prevention is the
absence of disease. It is the steps taken to prevent a disease from ever
developing. Primary prevention is health and wellness. Secondary
prevention is early detection or screening. Such as getting a pap smear
test for detectio of early cervical cancer. Preventions begin with the
individual and includes healthy eating habits, moderate alcohol
consumption regular physical activity, avoidance of cigarette smoking,
regular medical checkups and minimizing exposure to pollutants in the
air, water, and food. It is never too late to begin. Cancer can be avoided.
Understanding Cancer, Mark Renneker M.D., 1988
Bull Publishing Company
Cancer and Nutrition, Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, 1990
Health Media of America, Inc.
Glencoe Health, Mary Bronson Merki, Ph.D., Don Merki, Ph.D.
Glencoe Publishing Company
The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol 3,
Enterprises Education Corporation, 1986