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A Look at Cancer by Madeline Sosa

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Cancer by definition is the “disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of a body,” according to Google definitions.  It affects millions of people in the U.S. yearly whether through genetics from family or from other cases due to smoking, second-hand smoke, or from exposure to radiation, just to name a few. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/index lists other ways that one can obtain cancer; sun and UV exposure, diet and physical activity, tobacco, and another carcinogen.

Citizens usually can help themselves detect cancer early in its stages by visiting their doctor regularly, doing prostate tests for men, breast tests (mammograms) for women, and check-ups yearly just to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are diagnosed with cancer, it is important to not lose hope. Take the necessary steps to fight this disease by contacting your doctor immediately. You can become a survivor of cancer by either “completely clearing the body of the disease albeit treatment (chemotherapy) or by the process of living with, through, and beyond cancer. By this definition, cancer survivorship begins at diagnosis. It includes people who continue to have treatment to either reduce risk of recurrence or to manage chronic disease,” according to the national cancer institute.

There are three different therapies available to cancer patients. They are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery to extract the disease. Depending upon the size of the tumor indicates what treatment can be used. If it is small, surgery is sufficient. If it is larger, radiation therapy is typically used, and if it is too large for the previous two, chemotherapy is used.

There are ways to prevent or reduce your chances of obtaining this disease. The first step is knowledge of cancer and the risks associated with it. By understanding the disease you can better your chances of not obtaining it. Stay away from tobacco. Tobacco is the number one cause of lung cancer, first-hand smoke, and second-hand smoke. Stay away from places that allow smokers to smoke freely in enclosed areas. Watch your diet and weight. By exercising frequently, you stop fatty tissues from building up, which could yield cells building up. Check with your family members for different hereditary traits from generations before you. By staying in tune with your family history, you can be prepared for whatever unwanted traits are handed down. This will help you inform your doctor of anything that may be passed down to you and be helpful in preventing or early detection.

If you have detected cancer, be not afraid but take the steps to handle it in the most effective way. Do not feel as if it is the end, for there have been many before you were diagnosed with it and many more after you that will be diagnosed as well. There are many different centers and associations that are well-equipped to help you, and with proper information, you will be on your way to becoming a survivor and an example for others to follow and look up to as a cancer survivor.





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