Cancer - Essay Example

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Cancer Thesis statement: Cancer is a painful, progressive disease with a high rate of mortality, when undetected and/or not administered the right chemotherapeutic agent(s). Keeping in mind its severity, the costs involved in therapy, and unpleasant adverse effects, it would beneficial to adapt to a healthy diet and get periodically evaluated for the common cancer biomarkers…
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Download file to see previous pages This often typically leads to a lump or a mass called a tumor, which are usually benign. Malignant cancers are capable of spreading to other organs as in the case of lymphoid vessels. In blood tissue, cells such as the erythrocytes or leucocytes get affected and cause leukemia. This is often characterized by an increase in the viscosity of blood. In this paper, I would like to discuss the commonly occurring types of cancers, causative factors, chemotherapy and radiation as treatment options, expenses and adverse effects associated with these treatment regimens, and the role of a healthy diet to minimize the occurrences of this disorder. Common types of cancers: As stated in the thesis outline, the most frequently observed sarcomas or cancers are those of the liver, breast, colon, prostate and lung, and has been the leading cause of death in the past five decades. Breast cancers are typically observed in post-menopausal women, and thus, it is extremely essential for periodic screening. Mammography is the technique used in this case and is usually recommended annually. Recent trends include biopsy of the breast tissue, followed by analysis for RNA content, as this biotechnology procedure sheds light on the expression of the gene responsible for cancer. A subtle marginal increase in these biological indicators, could suggest the initial phases of breast cancer. (1Popat and Smith, 2006) Prostate cancer, which is exclusive to men, is observed beyond the age of 50. Early detection is key, as the cancer could be prevented from metastasizing by surgical removal of the gland. Diagnostic procedures for liver, lung or pancreatic cancers usually entail a measurement of enzymatic levels in the body, by biochemical assays. For example, the presence of serum based prostate specific antigen (PSA) or Kallikrein indicates the possibility of prostate cancer in men or ovarian cancer in women. Or, elevated levels of alpha-fetoprotein are typical in liver cancers due to cirrhosis. (Ullah and Aatif, 2009) Thus, biomarkers are excellent tools in the early diagnosis of various types of cancers, which help the clinician in designing the appropriate treatment protocol. Chemotherapy and radiation: The management of cancers by the administration of cytotoxic chemical agents is termed as chemotherapy. There has been a surge in the discovery of various chemical classes of cytotoxic compounds in the past few decades. Recent methods of treatment for certain rare forms of cancers include administration of a novel category of biological drugs called monoclonal antibodies. In some conditions, chemotherapy alone cannot control rapidly growing tumors and cancers. In such cases, radiation therapy is often used, either standalone, or in combination with chemotherapy. (Verweij and de Jonge, 2000) Radiation, as the name suggests involves targeting the affected tissue with high-energy electromagnetic rays (beta or gamma rays), which, on account of their short wavelength, have high penetrating powers. The energy associated with this radiation kills cells on contact. A major drawback of chemotherapeutic agents and radiation is their non-selectivity. They cannot differentiate the cancerous from the healthy cells, which results in damage to viable cells, although precision techniques such as the gamma knife are employed. Other unpleasant effects such as hair ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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