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Cancer Research Paper




An example research paper on cancer written for: Ari Toubo Ibrahim who is employed by the Éducation nationale (MINISTÈRE DE L'EDUCATION NATIONAL) and works in Niamey, Niamey, Niger. He who used the paper without authorization as his own without paying for it. He also used a stolen credit cards and Paypal accounts to pay for the services.



Cancer is a group of diseases defined by a malignant and uncontrollable division of cells (NIH). There are over 100 different types of cancer, each affecting a different organ. Not confined to specific domains, however, cancer can spread to other parts of the body, either through the blood of the lymph system.

Cancer Research

The exact mechanism behind cancer is not yet fully understood, but we know the basics. Every cancer begins when something abnormal happens to a regular cell (NIH). A healthy cell in a human body, like every other living organism, has a life cycle – it has a beginning and an end. When a cell gets too old and inefficient – it dies, and whatever useful nutrients are left from it are absorbed by other cells. This process of natural death of cells is called apoptosis (BioOncology). There is, however, another way a cell can die: when it is damaged. For example, when we cut ourselves. This process is called necrosis. In the case of necrosis an injured cell’s useful minerals are not just peacefully dissolved when it dies. Rather, the cell sends a distress signal and the body tries to bring the situation back to normal. Cancerous tumors develop when these two different processes, apoptosis and necrosis, are not working properly because the cell’s DNA had been damaged (NIH). As the result, cells do not die when they should but instead keep multiplying and reproducing the mutated DNA. These unwanted extra cells are called tumors.

Not all tumors are cancers. Those that do not spread to other parts of the body are called benign tumors (NIH). The ones that do – cancers – are malignant tumors. Although there are over 100 types of cancer, they can be grouped into five broad categories based on where they begin (NIH). Carcinoma develops from epithelial cells – the cells that cover inner or outer surfaces of the body such as skin or the outer surface of internal organs. Sarcoma arises from cells of the so-called mesenchymal origin: bones, fat, muscles, cartilages and other connective tissues. Leukemia starts in tissues that form blood, such as bone marrow and, as the result, it affects blood by introducing to it abnormal blood cells. Lymphoma and myeloma affect the cells of the immune system – lymphocytes and plasma cells respectively. Finally, there is a variety of cancers that affect the central nervous system that develop in the brain or the spinal cord. The five deadliest cancers, according to the World Health Organization, are lung, liver, stomach, colorectal, breast, and esophageal cancer (WHO).

There are no symptoms when cancer begins and they only appear when the tumor reaches a certain size (Mayo Clinic). The manifestation of symptoms, furthermore, will vary depending on the type of cancer. Skin cancer can be spotted early on as it usually looks like a growing mole. Lung cancer, on the other hand, is very difficult to spot without screening and it will often show symptoms when the tumor is already too big – all because there are no nervous endings inside of the lungs, so nothing hurts. Furthermore, even general symptoms of cancer – coughing, weight loss, or change in bowel movements – are very non-specific and can often be taken for symptoms of a number of other diseases (NHS).

Local symptoms of cancer depend on the type and they are manifested because of the size of the tumor or as the result of its ulceration (Mayo Clinic). Lung cancer, for example, may obstruct the bronchus which will cause coughing or even pneumonia. Or, if a tumor in the lungs begins to ulcerate the patient might start coughing up blood. There are also so-called systemic symptoms. They are not related to the location of the tumor, but are rather more general symptoms which may include, for example, fatigue or fever. Furthermore, cancer has a tendency to metastasize. When it spreads through blood, new tumors can appear virtually anywhere in the body. This makes pinpointing cancer symptoms very difficult as they change (or accumulate) over time.

Cancer is much easier to prevent than to cure. Smoking, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, physical inactivity and living in polluted areas result in over 30% of all deaths from cancer (WHO). Cancer screening is a way to catch a potential cancer early, before it manifested any symptoms (ACS). These screenings usually include blood and urine tests, medical imaging technologies, and physical examinations. Finally, if all of the above had failed, there are several ways of managing cancer. One of the major types is chemotherapy which may be used as treatment or in order to prolong the patient’s life. Chemotherapy refers to a use of chemical substances, often more than one, which have anti-cancerous effects. The usual principle on which most of these substances work is called cytotoxicity: their ability to kill rapidly dividing cells (ACS). Another way of managing cancer is via radiation therapy, by beaming ionizing radiation at the tumor in order to destroy the DNA of malignant cells and cause their death (ACS). But in spite of all the technical and biomedical advances, the best way of dealing with localized cancers is still surgery. All of the above, however, are not either/or choices. They are often used in conjunction with one another or at the different stages of cancer development.

Cancer is perceived as a deadly disease, and very often – it is. In our modern times, we are exposed to a variety of toxins and unhealthy foods but also live longer on average to have the time to develop cancers. It is important to remember, therefore, that neither healthy diets, nor preemptive screenings are enough by themselves to keep cancer away: we must pay attention to both.

References

BioOncology. Resisting cell death. BioOncology.

ACS. Treatment Types. American Cancer Society.

Mayo Clinic. Cancer Symptoms. Mayo Clinic.

WHO. Cancer. World Health Organization.

NHS. Cancer - Signs and Symptoms. NHS Choices.