Cancer Research Paper

Submitted By GAlysha
Words: 1191
Pages: 5

Marieb defines cancer as “A logical, coordinated process in which a precise sequence of tiny alterations change a normal cell into a killer”. The cells that divide uncontrollably are called neoplasm, or a tumor, and there are two types of neoplasm, the benign and the malignant. The benign neoplasm is the less hazardous of the two for it is a slow growing compact mass of cells. Once removed it usually does not recur. In contrast, the malignant neoplasm is more alarming for it grows quickly and spreads into other parts of the body where it invades its surroundings. The malignant neoplasm can leave the primary tumor and travel via blood to other organs to produce a secondary mass of cancer. Metastasis distinguishes cancer cells from benign cells and according to Free Online Medical Dictionary Metastasis is “transfer of disease from one organ or part of the body to another not directly connected with it, due either to transfer of pathogenic microorganisms or to transfer of cells”. Some common mutagens are radiation, mechanical trauma, pesticides, viral infections, chronic inflammations, tobacco tars, saccharine and some natural food chemicals can cause cancer. The importance of genes in standings with cancer is that very few carcinogens actually become tumors because the immune system and enzymes destroys it before it can do too much damage. And most cells make protein to stop cell division by ‘prompting apoptosis or cell cycle arrest’ (Marieb and Hoehn 142-143). The genes can also act as a tumor suppressor by inactivating the oncogenes. Oncogenes has two functions, one is a ‘switch off’ while the other is a ‘switch on’. The switch off function programs cells to make proteins that are important for ‘cell division, growth, and cellular adhesion’ (Marieb and Hoehn 142-143); the switch on function can activate a gene that lets cells become invasive and spread to other body parts.
There are a limited number of ways to treat cancer, such as radiation, but first you need to understand the diagnosing tools such as an examination of the infected area to see if there is a polyp, ‘a small benign growth consisting of apparently normal mucosa cells’ (Marieb and Hoehn 142-143). Yet ‘certain cancers, such as pancreatic caner, symptoms often do not start until the disease has reached an advanced stage’ (The New York Times). Other tests are ‘biopsy of the tumor, blood test[s] (which look for chemicals such as tumor markers), bone marrow biopsy (for lymphoma or leukemia), chest x-ray, complete blood count, CT scan[s], and MRI scan[s]’ (The New York Times). Then the treatments vary on the extent of the cancer and how far it has already progressed and is classified in stages (from 1-4). The most common way to treat cancer is to surgically take it out and then to take radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both. Lately, scientists are trying out a new method of ‘heat therapy [of] just a slight upward temperature change’ (Marieb and Hoehn 142-143) for the tumor to be more sensitive and responsive to therapy.
One new type of treatment is imatinib, or Gleevec. This is prevents the enzyme that triggers uncontrollable division from functioning the way it is supposed to. This drug ‘is used to treat certain types of leukemia (blood cancer)… it is also used to treat certain tumors of the stomach and the digestive systems’ (""). This drug isn’t permanent cure for even though it ‘has been strikingly successful in providing a few extra weeks of life, before their protective effects wear off and the disease progresses again’ (Marieb and Hoehn 142-143). When taking this medicine always make sure to drink a tall glass of water and never on an empty stomach and store at room temperature. Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant also if you have ‘liver disease, kidney disease, underactive thyroid, recent or upcoming thyroid surgery, heart disease, congestive heart failure, history of stomach ulcer or bleeding, or if you are