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Cancer Essay, Research Paper



I. Introduction

A. History

B. What Is Cancer

C. Types Of Cancer

II. How Cancer is Diagnosed

III. Seven warning Signs

IV. Possible Causes Of Cancer

A. Environment

B. Viruses

C. Haereditatis

D. The Sun

E. The Air

V. Treatments

A. Surgery

B. Radiation

C. Chemotherapy

VI. Prevention

A. Primary

B. Secondary



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

each year.

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

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