Cancer is an incredibly life changing disease. For those who develop cancer, overcoming it is one of the most arduous battles that they will ever have to face. For the loved ones of a cancer patient, the battle can be one of the most painful events that they will ever witness. According to Proquest database, "Cancer is a group of diseases charactereized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in dealth. Cancer is caused by both external factors (tobacco, infectoius organisms, chemicals, and radiation) and internal factors (inherited mutations, hormones, immune conditions, and mutations that occur from metabolism). These casual factors may act together or in sequence to initiate or promote the development of cancer" ("At Issue"). The American Cancer Society also reports that around 13.7 million Americans with a history of cancer (including those cancer free and those who were still undergoing treatment) were alive on January 1, 2012. They predicted that in 2013, 580,350 Americans would die of cancer (a rate of almost 1,600 people per day). They also estimate that 11,630 new cases of cancer in children (ages 0-14 years) would occur in 2013 ("Cancer"). These statistics are not only shocking, but heartbreaking.The thought that in the 21st century, we still do not have a total cure for this disease is disquieting. However, as time goes on, medical researchers have developed several treatment options.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, the top 5 most common cancer types for both genders in the United States along with the number of new cases diagnosed in 2012 are are: lung (1,285), breast (1,677), colorectum (1,361), prostate (1,112), and stomach (952). This can also break down to most common types of cancer for women, men, and children. For women, the 5 most common types are: breast (1,677), colorectum (614), lung (583), cervix uteri (528), and stomach (320). For men: lung (1,242), prostate (1,112), colorectum (746), stomach (631), and liver (554) ("Worldwide"). Recorded by the American Cancer Society, the 5 most common childhood cancers are: Leukemia, brain/other central nervous system tumors, Neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, and Lymphoma ("What"). With the majority of people with cancer dying from these types year after year, medical researchers and scientists must come up with a cure quickly.
Cancer is a staged disease. Staging describes the severity of a person's cancer, based upon the size and extent of the original tumor and whether or not cancer has spread in the body. Acording to the National Cancer Institute, "Staging cancer is important for several reasons:
Staging helps the doctor plan the appropriate treatment.
Cancer stage can be used in estimating a person’s prognosis.
Knowing the stage of cancer is important in identifying clinical trials that may be a suitable treatment option for a patient.
Staging helps health care providers and researchers...