Cancer is a human disease that affects one of the organ systems. It begins as just a small primary tumor and in most cases, it may be unnoticeable that is why most cancer patients live with the disease for very many years without knowing that they have the disease which becomes too late for any treatment and this makes them have a very low chance of surviving. Cancer is termed as a generic disease since it interferes with the general cell genetic composition. Cancer is an interesting and important area of human biology since it is a disease which can affect anybody and at any time. We all need to be aware of the disease so that we can know how to deal with the disease in case we have it and how we can support the people who are living with it.
Cancer affects the cellular function of the body of a person. In a cell structure, there is a network of organelles which all have different functions. These parts of the cell include the nucleus which makes the ribosomes, cytoplasm which helps in the supporting and protecting all the cell organelles and the surface which maintains the shape of the cell. The affected cell normally gets mutated and it ends up losing the shape of the cell and it also loses control over its normal cell growth rate (Kirk, 1993).
Disruption of Homeostasis in Cancer
Homeostasis is the attempt by the human body to maintain an internal environment which is constant. For the body to maintain this, it requires the constant monitoring of the change of conditions. It generally involves the receptor which receives all the information on the environmental change, the control center which processes the information that is received by the receptor, and the effector which responds to the control center by enhancing the stimulus (Rath, 2001). Homeostasis consists of many body systems like the nervous system, the endocrine system, the skeletal system, the muscular system, the integumentary system, the respiratory system, the reproductive system, etc.
Homeostasis is in most cases disrupted in cancer patients since the cancer would end up damaging one system of the body and there is no body system which can work in total isolation. A disruption of one body system means that there are consequences that are to be expected from other body systems (Rath, 2001).
Cancer is caused by many cells which are in billions that form a tumor which originates from a single cell which has gotten out of its normal growth rate (Kirk, 1993). This loss of control of the normal growth rate of this cell is normally caused by the genetic make-up in the cell which is made up of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) which is found in the chromosomes. The damage of the cell arises during the division of the cell which in many circumstances is induced by the environmental agents and it can also be inheritable. These changes cause abnormal growth of the cell and they are then passed to its daughter cells as it undergoes cell division. It has been found that bio-engineered food possess risk of getting cancer since these foods contain genes which can also alter the genetic composition of a human cell (Martineau, 2001, p. 269)..
Cancer is termed as a very dangerous disease which is in most cases fatal. Most of the patients undergoing treatment for cancerous cells often die from the cancer itself or from the treatment. The survival rates are usually very greatly due to the many types of cancer that are there. This survival rate varies from patients surviving to patients not surviving at all. All the survivors of cancer need frequent and regular medical checkups so that one can ensure that the cancer is not returning. They also need to screen for any new cancer cells that may be developing besides the old cancer. Many cancer patients who receive cancer treatment may end up having emotional and physical complications which come up as a result to the cancer itself or its treatment. Some patients may end up having their body parts amputated or even they may have the removal of some internal organs which have been completely or partially damaged by the cancer.
Occupational therapy and physical rehabilitation is recommended to all cancer patients so that it can enable them to be able to continue with their daily activities like any other normal patient despite their illness. Predicting the survival rate of a cancer patient is very difficult since it depends on so many factors. Some of the most important factors that affect the survival of a cancer patient are the general health of the patient and the patient’s age. Patients with health problems have low chances of surviving as compared to the patient who is healthy. People who have a higher life expectancy like the young people have greater chances of surviving as compared to elderly patients whose immune system is also weak.
It has been reported that cancer survivors are at a great risk of developing and acquiring another second primary cancer (Kleinsmith, 2006). This is so because it is believed that the patient underwent some risky factors like tobacco use and alcohol use which could trigger the other primary cancer and also due to the treatment that the cancer patient underwent in treating the other cancer. That is why all the cancer survivors are normally advised to undergo cancer screening so that if there is a possibility that there is another cancer in their bodies, it is quickly treated before it is too late.
Cancer treatment include: surgery, monoclonal anti body therapy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy among other treatments. Each type of cancer has a different type of treatment which also varies as to the location of the tumor, the person’s general health and how long and far the cancer has affected the person. The mostly commonly used treatment for cancer is the complete removal of an internal organs or body parts which have been affected by cancer without causing damages to the other parts of the body which is mostly done by surgery. There also other several experimental cancer treatments which are meant to try and treat cancer but they are still being studied by the experts. These experimental cancer treatments are usually studied in clinical trials which are meant to get better treatments for the new cancer diseases which are evolving with time and they are becoming resistant to treatment (Kleinsmith, 2006). Many countries are encouraging the citizens to undergo screening tests like for example the women are encouraged to go for a cervical cancer screening, the men are also advised to go for a prostrate cancer screening etc.
Cancer has negative impacts on the agriculture sector since instead of people spending time farming; they spend most of their time and money undergoing treatments for the cancer. This shows that the economy will be affected since money has to be used to treat cancer patients instead of investing. The society that is affected lags behind since the cancer patients are in most cases unproductive (Kleinsmith, 2006).
Cancer can disrupt the homeostasis of a person and it can lead to organ failure or even death. The use of tobacco, alcohol, taking of unhealthy diet and also infections from diseases like hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B can lead to high risk of one contacting cancer. Many types of cancer are fata like the cervical cancer which has been reported to be the cause of so many deaths in women in many countries. Through the use of regular screening of cancer survivors, cancer patients and also the healthy people can reduce the chances of contracting cancer and also increase the survival rate of the patients. Early detection of cancer is treatable since treatment in the late stages is usually not effective since the cancer cells have widely spread and beyond control. Cancer is treatable in its early stages and it is fatal in its late stages. The world health organization (WHO) has launched a plan to increase the commitment on the prevention and control of cancer in the future. These plans by the WHO are meant to create awareness about cancer and how to prevent it so that in several years to come, we would live in a cancer free environment.