A Brief Look At The Causes And Effects Of Cancer

1384 words - 6 pages

A Brief Look at the Causes and Effects of Cancer
It is one of the most dreaded and fatal diseases of the modern world. While there is extensive research on the illness, there is no known cure for all its forms. It can appear without warning and by the time it is diagnosed, it may already be too late. As long ago as 400 B.C., “Hippocrates is said to have named masses of cancerous cells karkinos — Greek for crab” (“Origin Of The Word ‘Cancer’”). There are entire scientific volumes and personal studies on cancer’s effects on the human body, and what causes it to sprout up within a person in the manner which it does. Both scientists and devotees of “old” medicine have ...view middle of the document...

Despite this, many only receive a fraction of the recommended amount in their three main meals a day. For instance, in passing on the broccoli and opting for the macaroni and cheese, the human body is missing out on essential minerals and vitamins needed to promote healthy skin and eyes, liver and kidneys, and other functions. Without these vitamins, the body is more susceptible to illness and long term health issues. In addition, processed foods such as bleached flour and refined sugar (which are found in countless favorite foods) are difficult for the body to break down. Heavy consumption of artificial flavors and sweeteners has also been linked to various cancers. Due to a lack of knowledge, many people maintain a harmful diet of foods with inorganic ingredients which contribute to a state of being unhealthy.
Eating the wrong types of foods isn’t the only cause of the world’s most widespread disease, however. Cancers such as Melanoma (skin cancer) are often the direct result of prolonged, unprotected exposure to radiation. Melanomas develop after ultraviolet radiation from sunlight reacts with groups of atoms in the body called free radicals. While there is a very low risk of developing a melanoma from one or two bad sunburns, a continued habit of neglecting sunscreen while spending time in the sun’s rays will drastically increase the chances that a melanoma will develop at some point in a person’s life. While Melanomas may appear fairly harmless (they look more like an ugly mole than a tumor) their cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body, where other cancers will develop if not treated. This is one example of damage to the body caused by radiation that isn’t found in a lab or a factory, but just outside the walls of people’s homes; radiation that almost everyone exposes both themselves and their children to. It is true that some people are more at risk than others for developing cancers due to genetics and lifestyles. For example, people of European descent or possessing light colored, fair skin are predisposed to develop melanomas. However darker skinned people are by no means excluded from melanomas and some very basic measures can be taken to protect oneself from the dangers of developing cancer.
Finally, there is one trend found in regard to patients with terminal cancer which seems to be the most important of all. Whatever the reason, there is little justification for refusing to frequently see a doctor or undergo a routine medical examination so that any medical problems that could be lurking on (or beneath) the skin may be exposed. Too often, a patient will not discover they have cancer until it is in the later stages, and therefore harder to remove. Even more distressing, the patient may not ever know that they have cancer, when they suddenly pass away of the disease. This is the most unexpected and avoidable example of fatality from cancer. Whether or not a person shows any signs or...

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