Discuss the causes and the effects of cancer To what extent is cancer prevention the individuals responsibility - Essay Example

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A great deal is focused on the state of the cancer inflicted individual rather than the future possibilities of the individual leading a normal or extended life. Cancer is an individual disease and so it is a personal struggle…
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Discuss the causes and the effects of cancer To what extent is cancer prevention the individuals responsibility
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Cancer is a disease that takes place at the cellular level; it is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. It is often referred to as a serious case of cell proliferation. Cancer claims the lives of nearly eight million people worldwide, as much as the entire population of Tajikistan and Israel. It is the most common cause of death in the world with fifteen percent of all deaths attributed to some form of terminal cancer (Gold, 2002, p. 89). Research indicates that 30% of the total population of the world will experience some form of cancer at least once in their lifetime. If preventive measures are not implemented by the individual and awareness is not increased by the health governing bodies and state authorities, the number of cancers inflicted deaths worldwide is expected to grow to 20 million by the year 2030.
Cancer is caused by a variety of factors. Genetics places a significant role in the likelihood of an individual contracting cancer. Heredity factors such as having parents, grandparents and siblings who have presently or previously contracted cancer tremendously increases the probability of an individual being predisposed to developing cancer. However it is not always an exact possibility. Carcinogens are external factors that increase the rate and likelihood of cancer development. They include biological carcinogens such as certain forms of bacteria, chemical carcinogens such as asbestos and chemicals in cigarette smoke as well as physical carcinogens such as Ultraviolet rays and certain forms of radiations (Graham, 2000, p. 203). Tobacco chewing and tobacco smoking is another major cause of cancer; especially oral and lung cancer. Tobacco contains over four thousand different chemicals, most of which are known carcinogens. These carcinogens are responsible for accelerating the rate of cell proliferation which leads to cancerous growths and malignant tumors that if not diagnosed earlier on, become terminal and lead to the death of the individual. Sequelae Diet and physical activity play a crucial role in offsetting the chance of contracting cancer. A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and fiber prevent esophageal, stomach, colorectal and prostate cancer. Consuming adequate amounts of clear fluids and water on a daily basis prevents bladder infections that lead to bladder cancer. Physical activity that increases the heart rate and pumps fresh blood all over the body leads to efficient flushing of toxins and waste products (Jaggi, 2005, p. 115). This in turn leads to the prevention of brain and skin cancer. UV exposure and Radiation Exposure should be avoided at all costs. While there is a growing trend towards sun bathing and tanning in the US, the percentage of people contracting various forms of skin malignancies is also increasing. Risk Factors Effects of cancer include severe fatigue and asthenia along with precocious menopause in female patients. In male patients, impotence and infertility can take place along with significant changes to lung capacity and cardiovascular efficiency. Cancer treatment is very effective at the early stages, but at the same time, it has a sever side effect profile. Some of the side effects include structural alterations to the heart, neuropathic tingling sensations in the extremities of the body, muscle wastage as well as loss of skin texture and hair. Some of the severe cognitive effects of chemotherapy, a popular form of cancer treatment include cognitive deficiencies in memory and concentration (Kirsten, 2002, p. 39). Osteoporosis of bones, kidney failure, urinary problems as well as secondary infectious cancers can also surface as a result of the extreme nature of cancer treatments. After the worst effect of cancer is the loss of bodily tissue that can cause scarring Read More
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