Cancer Essay Research Paper Good Cell Gone

Cancer Essay, Research Paper

Good Cell Gone Bad

Nothing more enjoyable in the world is a child being born. Inherited by the child is his

dad’s nose, his mother’s eyes, and some cancer genes? Cancer genes are being passed down from

parents to children and spreading rapidly. Before a father died from cancer, he passed the genes

down to five children of his own. Later on, two daughters developed breast cancer and his son

had a brain tumor, but before knowing, they experienced at least one birth of their own. These

genes are killers and can appear in many different forms: lung, liver, skin, breast, brain, bladder,

stomach. Cancer is just a good cell gone bad because of one gene mutation.

One little mistake in an amino acid can mess up the whole cell. This altered amino acid

can cause deformed proteins, hence, making the nucleus swollen and the reproduction process

uncontrolable. It is like an assembly line made up of machines, but when it is time to quit for the

day, there is no shut-down lever to pull. In a regular cell, each time the cell divides, it loses some

of a chemical, so after many divisions, the cell uses up all of the the chemical and dies (Begley

43). The cancer produces an enzyme that protects this chemical and becomes basically immortal.

When tumors start growing, the cancer cells start killing themselves because the nucleus is so far

away from any nutrient rich blood vessel. At this time, the cancer goes into a depression. As a

survival instinct, the cancer cells produce a chemical that triggers the production of blood vessels

and forms the veins around the nucleus. Months and even decades can pass before the tumor can

finish this process. After completed, the cancer then begins to travel quickly. As tumor cells

travel through the blood stream, they get stuck in little capillaries. Then it works its way out and

forms new tumors (Begley 44).

The most widley know cancer in children to adults is called leukemia. There are acute

and cronic, lymphocyctic and myelogenous causes of leukemia. Leukemia, although, is the most common cancer in children; acounting for one-third of all cancers in children. Doctors predict

that around 2,600 new cases will be found in children in the next year. Although, cancer in

children react better to medication and theropy than in adults, so most kids with leukemia can

expect to be cured. Its a tuff battle to fight cancer, but it can be done. An ever bigger fight is to

not only survive cancer, but to not catch a cold while sick with leukemia. Most people who die

from cancer, die from getting infected with a cold. The cause of this is the fact that cancer and its

treatments destroy your immune system. To strengthen a weak immune system, a patient drinks

an antibiotic solution three times a week (Begley 46).

What is leukemia? How does it develop? How is leukemia detected? Leukemia is a

cancer of white blood cells. In normal cases, white blood cells reproduce to the number of cells

that die, letting everything stay constant. In leukemia, abnormal white blood cells reproduce more

and live longer. Over a peroid of time, the body is flooded with cancer cells that will interfere

with organs and not eliminate bacteria that normally would be destroyed (Cancer Society).

The way leukemia develops is not really known, but is understood that certain changes in

the DNA cause bone marrow stems to develop into leukemia. Usually , DNA changes that cause

leukemia happen after birth instead of being inherited (Cancer Society).

Detecting leukemia consist of looking for feelings of fatigue, fever, infections, lip and

mouth sores, and being able to bruise and bleed eaisly. Also, look for weakness, weight loss, and

loss of appetite. Anemia is included as a result of shortage of red blood cells. It causes shortness

of breath and pale skin (Cancer Society). When not enough white blood cells present, the risk of

infection increases. Not having normal blood platelets lead to bruising, bleeding, noesbloods, and

bleeding of the gums. Then, while the spread of leukemia travels to the central nervous system,

headaches, seizures, vomiting, not keeping one’s balance and blurred vision may occure. In some

cases, the child might suffer bone or joint pain caused by the spread of cancer to the outside of the

bone or to the joint area. These symptoms rapidly appear over one to two weeks, in rare cases,

over two months. After detecting, a doctor should be notified for blood count and bone marrow

tests. Finding changes in the number of blood cell types and their form may suggest leukemia

(Connolly 150).

Many tests are done to make sure that leukemia is present. Bone marrow test are

preformed when a thin needle is used to take a sample of lequid bone marrow. During a bone

marrow biopsy, a small cylinder of bone and marrow, about a half inch in length, is removed with

a larger needle. These samples are taken from the back of the hipbone. This test can tell whether

leukemia is present, if a child is having treatments, and how well the disease is responding to the

theropy. Among these steps for treatment of leukemia, taking heavy steroids and spinal taps are

others. Side effects of the steroid medication involves dramatic mood swings, increase hunger

and weight gain. First, spinal tap treatments involve the patient rolling up into a ball. Then, an

injection of chemotheropy is pumped into the space between the vertebrae. It also consist of

checking for cancer cells in the fluid located around the spine. Doctors do this procedure to make

sure that the treatment is circulating to the brain. After a few months, the steroids are dropped and

along with the weight (Connolly 151). Other tests that doctors use are called Imaging Studies.

These studies consist of x-ray, computed tomography, MRI, ultrsound, and gallium and bone

scan (Cancer Society).

With just trying to cure leukemia being a huge task, a mutation is added. In rare cases, the

mutation of leukemia, the Philadelphia Chromosome, is added to the equation. This type of

disease is unusually resistant to chemotheropy and radeation. So, a bone marrow trasnplant, and a

little praying, is the best shot of treatment. With this surgery, magor risks are considered. The

procedure can start a war between the donor’s marrow and the patient’s body, or it can work for

the time being and then fail later. The real challenge is to find a match for the patient, and with

over 10,000 different types, finding a match is unlikely. To help out, an organization was created,

the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). It still can take upto five years of treatment to see

if the operation was sucessful (O’Donnell 98).

Instead of the old slash and burn technigues, new and better ways of treating and curing

leukemia is always being tested. People who suffer chronic leukemia now have a new hope. In an

18 month safety trail, a new drug, STI-571, was tested. Every subject that took 300 milligrams

daily went into remission without serious side effects. Researchers will continue the miracle find

and see if the pill has long-term effects (Check 77). Also, the new p53 gene is taking affect on

cancer cells effictivley. What the p53 gene does is it wraps around the cancer cell, turns off the

reproductive system in the cell, and waits until the cell can be repaired. The way chemotheropy

works is the the treatments and radiation damages the cell’s DNA and threatens to make the cell

into a cancer cell. The cells then start rapidly making the p53 gene in defence. If the cell is too

damaged, the gene kills the cell. Doctors later found that radiation theropy can actually do more

harm than good. If one p53 gene is bad, the radiation kills off the healthy cells rather than the

cancer cells. The new theropy used today is in the form of a virus. When the virus is injected into

the patient, it attacks the tumor cells and infects it with healthy p53 genes. In most of the patients,

only one-third of the tumor cells were infected, but with a domino effect, other cancer cells started

dying off. Out of nine patients, three tumors stop growing and three others shrank (Madeleing


The most common therapy used is chemotherapy. It refers to the use of anticancer drugs

that are injected into the bloodstrem and spreads quickly to kill cancer cells. They target rapidly

growing cells in the body and kill them. Which by using this type of therapy, other cells, mouth

and intestines, hair follicles, and blood cells, are destroyed also. Side effects of chemotherapy are

temporary hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. While taking therapy, patients are

given antibiotics to compensate for the side effects. This antibiotics help protect against infection,

nausea, and vomiting, and keep blood counts higher. Also, organs can be damaged by

chemotherapy like the kidneys, liver, testes, ovaries, brain, heart, and lungs. With care attention,

these side effects are rare (Cancer Society).

It is a tuff battle to fight cancer, but with new hopes being presented everyday and

prayers, the survival rate is high. This is a life changing event, but can be an eye opening show.

Surviving is a must win battle only done by the patient, and the one’s who win come out stronger

than ever.


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