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investigating disease

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Investigating Disease: Lung cancer and Pneumonia Contents Introduction Page 2 Health, Disease and epidemiology Page 3 The causes and distribution of communicable Page 6 and non-communicable diseases Diagnosis, treatment and facilities to support Page 9 individuals with disease The strategies available for the prevention of diseases Page13 and the use of epidemiological methods for tracking diseases Evaluation Page15 Conclusion Page 16 Bibliography Page 17 Introduction The aim of this assignment is to develop my awareness of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. I am going to compare two diseases. One disease chosen for the assignment is pneumonia, a communicable disease, caused by micro-organisms and can be transmitted from one person to another. The other disease I have chosen to investigate is lung cancer, a non-communicable disease, which is not caused by living organisms and is not usually passed on from one person to another. I have chosen two diseases that are both relevant to an older service- user in order to be able to collect data concerning the causes and distribution of the diseases. Health, disease and epidemiology Pneumonia Pneumonia is a communicable infection of the lung and Respiratory system in which the alveoli becomes inflamed and flooded with pus, mucus, and other liquid and can not function properly. Pneumonia is caused by the inhalation of infected microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa and spread through contact with an infected person. The microorganisms enter the body through the mouth, nose and eyes. If the body's resistance is down, the natural process of fighting off diseases is weakened and the microorganisms are free to spread into the lungs and the lungs' alveoli. The alveoli become filled with fluid and pus from the infectious agent, making it more difficult for the body to get the oxygen it needs, and the person may become sick. Clinical features People with infectious pneumonia often have a cough producing greenish or yellow mucus and a high fever that may be accompanied by shaking chills. ...read more.


Alcohol consumption can also be a risk, though it is hard to tell how much of the risk in people who drink is actually due to tobacco smoke, since most people smoke and drink. Lung cancer is the most common cancer in terms of both incidence and mortality with 1.35 million new cases per year and 1.18 million deaths, with the highest rates in Europe and North America. Individuals over fifty who have a history of smoking are more likely to develop lung cancer. Lung cancer is the second most commonly occurring form of cancer in most western countries, and it is the leading cancer-related cause of death. The rate of men dying from lung cancer is declining in western countries; however it is increasing for women due to the increased amount of smoking by this group. Eastern Europe has the highest lung cancer deaths among men, while northern Europe and the United States have the highest deaths among women. Lung cancer incidence is less common in developing countries. With increased smoking in developing countries, the incidence is expected to increase in the next few years. Diagnosis, treatment and facilities to support individuals with disease Diagnosis is the process of identifying a medical condition or disease by its signs, symptoms, and from the results of various diagnostic procedures. The earlier the diagnosis the more effective the treatment of the disease will be. This is important in progressive diseases such as lung cancer where early recognition can mean the difference between life and death. Early diagnosis is also important in communicable disease such as pneumonia. This means that transmission of the disease could be reduced if the infected individuals are isolated quickly. Diagnosis of Pneumonia and Lung cancer Typically, someone with abnormal symptoms will consult a doctor, who will then obtain a history of the patient's illness and examine them for signs of disease. The doctor will create a hypothesis of likely diagnosis and in many cases will obtain further testing to confirm or clarify the diagnosis before providing treatment. ...read more.


National and local strategies educate and persuade individuals into making healthy choices. These choices include personal hygiene, the body is warm an moist from sweat making them ideal for micro- organisms to breed. Washing and changing clothes will help to reduce the number. Another individual choice is to smoke. Smoking can give a temporary feeling of well-being but can damage health, a reduction in smoking will result in a reduction in the number of related diseases such as lung cancer and pneumonia. However, many factors can affect the prevention of disease including the public perception of the risks that they take for example; people continue to smoke because they have the wrong perception of the risks. Another reason maybe because the individual has an unrealistic optimism when it comes to their chances of developing a disease, thinking it will not happen to them. This could be due to the lack of personal experience of the disease. The media plays a huge role in affecting individual's perception of risk, through the news, documentaries and TV dramas such as casualty. The media helps individuals to be more aware resulting in behavioral changes but if the risks are to over- dramatised people will just be too scared to find out if they have a problem. Evaluation In this assignment, I have explained and compared the epidemiology, treatment and prevention of two different diseases; lung cancer and pneumonia, one being a communicable disease and the other non- communicable. I feel I have demonstrated good knowledge and understanding of the biological basis of lung cancer and pneumonia, the causes and distribution, and how this helps treatment and prevention. I have also clearly evaluated the strategies for prevention of my chosen diseases and the factors that might affect them. However, my findings were not always successful due to the large amount of different data available which can have an impact on prevention, support and treatment. Conclusion From this assignment I can conclude that the importance of substantial knowledge and understanding of the epidemiology of diseases is essential to the later treatment and control of diseases. ...read more.

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