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Cancer- Is Prevention better than cure?

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Cancer- Is Prevention better than cure? Cancer is one of the biggest killers, 2 in 5 people will get cancer during their lifetime (ICRF 2001). Cancer comes about in the Genes of the human body. It can start due to DNA mutations, which are either inherited from our parents, or as in a lot of cases, are brought about over a long period of time as the errors in our DNA accumulate over time due to environmental aspects that are all around us such as X-Rays, Viruses, and Background Radiation. (New Scientist 4 Nov 2000,refer bibliography) There are a great many reasons why people get cancer and no sure way to cure it, so the question is, should an emphasis be put on Preventing cancer occurring or on the treatment of it. There are arguments to back both types of action but it is a question of which is more important. Two of the biggest killers are Lung cancer and Skin Cancer and the above question has different answers for each type as some can be brought about by lifestyle and some are inherent respectively. ...read more.


Prevention is maybe of the two the hardest to administer as people tend to take the "well it won't happen to me" view, but it very often does. So persuading people to change lifestyles to try and bring down the rate of cancer is no easy task. There are lots of other ways of prevention of cancer such as, screening at an earlier age, and Healthier diets. There are also methods like Cancer preventative drugs which are in the early stages of development but these are very hard to administer as they have a lot of Questions surrounding them such as how would research be carried out, as I would take a lifetime to monitor whether or not they were making a difference and then there are questions such as what age should they be given at and to what target group, and even if these trials were successful then it would still have to be approved by the GMC (general Medical Council) and then could take years to go into production (New scientist 4th Nov '00, pg 50 ). ...read more.


There is a lot of research going on into the Cure of cancer, which is good, but some would say, "Should it be necessary? If people looked after themselves then the number of cancer patients would drop considerably." This is true but for the Cancer patients that have say Breast cancer through no fault of their own need to also be thought of. People often say that the Treatment of Cancer using chemotherapy is scarier and actually worse than the cancer itself. It is the use of radiation to kill off cancerous cells but can also lead to things such as hair loss. These bad points aside it is one way that can give some cancer patients a chance of survival. New Technology has also brought about the development of a new type of scalpel for surgery on cancer, at present the surgeons can only remove what they presume to be cancer cells but it only takes one to be left behind for the cancer to continue spreading, so new scalpels with probes connected are being pioneered which are able to reveal which cells are cancerous. This could help greatly as 25% of Operations on breast cancer have to be repeated because some cancerous tissue is left behind.(New Scientist Jan 6th 2001.) Nick Shirley 12/10 ...read more.

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