In 2006, over 1,399,790 people were diagnosed with cancer in America alone (Jemal 43). For a disease so prevalent, adequate treatment must be found. In 1940, that treatment was discovered; a chemical similar to that of mustard gas was used to treat patients temporarily. At Yale University, it was observed that the gas produced from the nitrogen mustard harmed the cancer cells of the lymphatic region. After witnessing the advantages of this new treatment, it was found that in larger doses, it might cure cancer. The first successful treatment was done at Yale in the mid 1940's. This brings us to today; chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer, and to some, the most effective. Statistics as of 1999 prove this fact. More than three hundred million cancer patients are cured due to this treatment. It destroys the cancer cells "either by interfering with their growth or by preventing them from reproducing" (Morra 175). Chemotherapy is useful in reducing the size of tumors, making them small enough to be surgically removed. Also, it is effective in relieving pain and controlling unpleasant symptoms (Morra 174-176). Chemotherapy is an effective tool in battling cancer today.
Another type of treatment commonly used is radiation. The underpinnings of radiation therapy date back to 1895 and 1897 when x-rays and radium were discovered. In the following years, scientists discovered that x-rays damaged cells; following that discovery, it became apparent that x-rays were more successful in treating cancer cells than normal cells. There are various types of radiation that treat different areas. Radiation is effective in fighting cancer cells that are unable to be treated by surgery. It has similar effects to that of chemotherapy: shrinking the tumor and relieving symptoms. Overall, radiation is used as a means to treat the symptoms, not cure the cancer all together (Morra 138-139). Radiation in... [continues]
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(2007, 11). Native American Healing with Chaparral. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2007, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Native-American-Healingchaparral-125073.html
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