Battling Cancer

This essay has a total of 968 words and 6 pages.

Battling Cancer

Kevin Baird
Anatomy & Physiology
Mrs. Bradfield
January 10, 2000
Battling Cancer
During a shower one-day, you notice a lump that was not otherwise there. The next day you see a doctor. The lump you have identified is diagnosed as cancer. Now you need to figure out what to do. There is no absolute cure for cancer, but there are different ways to treat it.
Doctors use according methods like radiation, chemotherapy or drugs to treat various types of cancer. Another way of treating cancer is with alternative forms of medicine by using acupuncture and natural herbal remedies. These treatments are more often used in cases that can not be treated very or at all. However, when using the combination of the two treatment techniques, one can receive the full benefit of all available options. The medical profession is beginning to acknowledge and accept this idea of allowing alternative medicines in conjunction with traditional medicines to ease suffering as well as prolonging the lives of cancer patients.
In order to make a decision on treatment for cancer, one must understand what cancer is and the current treatments used. Cancer starts when a cell ceases to function properly, mutates, and begins to multiply rapidly. A cancer cell has an abnormal chromosome which sends ‘the wrong’ message to the other parts of the cell, which causes the cell to grow rapidly as it multiplies. These multiplied cells can form a lump called a malignant tumor, attack organs and organelles such as bone and bone marrow, or destroy tissue in areas like the lungs. All of these cases are referred to as cancer. “Cancer knows no boundaries and plays no favorites; it can be found among people of all races and ages, both rich and poor, black and white, male or female.” Cancer is a very serious disease many people live with. On average, about 1.2 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Cancer is not a contagious disease; it can not be passed from person to person. Like the statistic from above, imagine the fact that cancer kills more than 500,000 Americans every year –approximately one person per minute. Many people each year are killed by cancer, yet there are more who continue to live with this disease because of advanced medicine and technology.
There are many different kinds of treatments to ease the pain and sometimes even kill the cancer. The most accepted form of treatment is through traditional medicine. This includes radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and also improving ones lifestyle to prevent future episodes of cancer. Radiation is a method that uses high energy x-rays, electron beams or radioactive isotopes to kill cancer cells without exceeding safe doses to normal tissue. There are two different types of radiation therapy, externally and internally. When giving externally, the medical profession uses Orthovoltage equipment that treats external types of cancer like skin cancer. Internally giving radiation involves one of the following treatments: Internal (Systemic)

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