The Mysteriousness of Cancer
Every person on earth will eventually one day have to leave it behind. It is not the choice of the person whether they go peacefully or whether they go with pain. More often than not a person will go with pain. This is the case with cancer. More and more people die every day from cancer and it appears to ruin the lives of all those associated with it. What people need to understand though is yes cancer is a life altering chain of events but cancer is not the end of the world. Death is inevitable; there is no way around it. Perhaps cancer patients realize this more than anyone. “All creatures born upon this earth must, in the end, die. Some live long and peaceful lives. But others are caught up in struggles—must fight for their lives” (Silverstein 12-13). This is the case with cancer. Cancer patients will struggle and fight for their lives and not have the luxury of dying peacefully. The cause of cancer is still unknown to scientists but they have been able to come up with some possible explanations. Cancer affects newborn babies, boys, girls, women, men, animals and even plants. The possible causes of the cancers that affect each of these groups include chemicals in the body, viruses, ultraviolet rays, smoking, and it has been proven to be hereditary in some cases. Many people who develop cancer have had repeated or prolonged contact with one or more of these cancer causing agents (Silverstein 27). With the many different types of cancer it may, for some people, seem impossible for scientists to discover a cure.
There are more than one hundred known types of cancer. Scientists are sure there are many more they just have not yet been diagnosed. The cancers that are most common in women are breast cancer and cancer of the uterus. The cancers that are most common in men are lung cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Lung cancer kills more than 50,000 men a year. More men are likely to get lung cancer because in general men smoke more than women. Along with these leading cancers among women and men there are several other cancers that are common in both. Cancers of the colon, rectum, and large intestine kill more than 45,000 Americans a year (Altman and Sang 78). With numbers like that a person may begin to wonder if anyone survives the cancer battle.
There are three main ways doctors and scientists detect cancer in a patient. About 50 percent of all cancers start in parts of the body that a physician can routinely examine during an office visit. Even though a doctor may think he or she has come across a cancer he or she has to have further examinations to determine if he or she is right. The three tests that are performed most often are an X-ray technique called mammography, Pap tests, and colonoscopys. For a final diagnosis, on what a doctor has found, a biopsy is conducted (Anderson 56). The sooner cancer is discovered, the better the chance that it can be treated successfully.
If a patient does have cancer and it is caught in the early stages there is a greater chance of a recovery, or remission period. Although cancer is the second biggest killers in this country, in the past five years nearly 3,000,000 people have been successfully cured of the cancer disease (LeShan 98). When a person looks at a statistic like that it can really make them think on how serious and deadly cancer really is. There are three main types of cancer treatment doctors perform with patients. Surgery, radiation therapy, and drug therapy have all proven to be somewhat effective in the battle against cancer. In most cases a combination of two or three of these methods are used for treatment. Surgery is most often used to treat cancers of the breast, colon, lungs, stomach, and the uterus. Although surgery may not cure the cancer completely it aids in the healing process of patients and may give them a longer time period to live. Radiation therapy involves attacking cancers with X-rays or with...
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