Acute Disease

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Chronic Disease Paper
In late fall 1991, my family gathered for Thanksgiving at my grandparent's house as always. There was nothing special or memorable about that Thanksgiving except for the innocuous mention from my grandmother that she had a dull pain in her leg that seemed to be getting worse. While everyone simply brushed off the comments as a slow sign of aging, her comments were much more than that as this would be the last Thanksgiving we would spend with her. Shortly after that Thanksgiving, she was diagnosed with an aggressive and malignant form of lung cancer that had spread throughout her body and into her legs. The following August she was gone, and at the young age of 56, cancer had gone from that disease you hear about on the news, to a very real killer that had taken my grandmother. The clinical definition of cancer is "An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, in some cases, to metastasize" (Medicine.net, 2006). Cancer is not one disease, but rather a group of more than 100 different and distinctive diseases. It can involve any tissue of the body and have many different forms in each body area. Most cancers are named for the type of cell or organ in which it starts. For instance, breast cancer or colon cancer refer to malignancies that began in the breast and colon respectively. According to the National Cancer Institute, a total of 1,372,910 new cancer cases and 570,280 deaths were reported in the United States in 2005. The incidence and mortality rates of various types of cancer can be seen in the graph below. As available treatment options and innovations in technology continue to occur, recent trends toward decreasing mortality rates will provide hope for all those diagnosed with this deadly disease. Cancer TypeEstimated New CasesEstimated Deaths

Bladder Cancer61,42013,060
Breast Cancer (Male included)212,920 - 1,72040,970 - 460
Colon and Rectal (combined)148,61055,170
Endometrial...
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