Cancer

When first asked if I thought I was healthy in the video lecture I said yes because I don’t have any adverse symptoms. I then began thinking more on the subject and realized that people may have conditions yet may not have symptoms for it. I think that my definition of healthy would have to be having no adverse symptoms of any condition and also a verified health status having gone to a physician for a physical or something to make sure I don’t have any underlying illness. As for illness it would be an abnormal feeling felt for duration of time. How I would determine if someone is unhealthy is by testing them for various things like cholesterol, heat rate, temperature, etc. to make sure that they are at a good baseline health.

Definitions of health are determined by many things. I think that the media play a huge role because we have so many commercials for medications and diseases. I also think that there is a social role because we compare and judge each other based on how we think we should look. What our families have taught us from children often follow us as adults. Parents are responsible for teaching healthy eating habits and feeding their children healthy foods however schools also need to be better at making healthy food choice overwhelmingly available rather than the fried foods that are easy to make.

Shyness is something that I would not consider an illness. I believe that you can grow out of being shy and you can learn to be more social. Being shy is a personality and it does not directly affect any body system. There could be a mental illness that makes someone less social but shyness itself is a personality trait.

Cancer is not an illness it is a disease. An illness is considered to be the symptoms associated with a particular disease. An example of treating an illness for cancer would be managing the pain and discomfort. On the other hand treating the disease would be curing the cancer and having the person be in remission.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Tyler Lambert says:

    I agree with your classification of cancer as a disease. It has numerous clinical manifestations of altered physical function and infection. The secondary symptoms or complications of the disease, in this case cancer, can be an illness. The chronic fatigue, nausea, loss of hair and pain all can contribute to the feeling of being ill.

    In our culture the terrible stigma of cancer is slowly decreasing. Improvements in chemotherapy, radiation surgery, proton therapy etc. patients are living longer healthier lives. In some ways you could say there is some optimism. This isn’t true in all cultures. A 1994 survey in the Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology reported only one and five cancer patients were told of their diagnosis. Other countries perceive the disease similarly. Another study of 90 oncologists from 20 different countries about their disclosure of cancer diagnoses, showed physicians from Africa, France, Hungary, Italy, Panama, Portugal and Spain only informed about a third of patients their diagnosis. However, in most cases the families were informed. In many Asian nations, both doctor and family often decide on the course of treatment without the patient as an attempt to protect the patient. The article also pointed out denial of cancer among the Korean culture is strong. Where the American culture we are more straightforward and vocal. The first thing Americans usually ask is “how long do I have to live?”.

    Benowits, Steven “To Tell the Truth: A Cancer Diagnosis in Other Cultures Is Often a Family Affair.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 91 (1999) 22, 1918-1919, accessed July 6, 2014. doi: 10.1093/jnci/91.22.1918

  2. Alisyn Korpela says:

    Cancer in North America differs in many ways in comparison to Africa. Among the African culture, there is strong emphasis placed upon the prevention and treatment of various communicable diseases such as AIDS, HIV, and malaria. Cancer, on the other hand, struggles to reach the attention of the people and continues to remain a low public health priority in Africa. According to the website, “the occurrence of cancer in Africa varies remarkably by type of major cancer, stage of diagnosis, survival, and incidence and mortality rates.” Much of this predominant difference is due to awareness and the availability of treatment for the people of Africa. While there may be a substantially greater number of cancer cases in North America, the survival rate of recorded cases in Africa is much lower. “For example, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is less than 50% in Gambia, Uganda, and Algeria, compared to nearly 90% in the United States.” In terms of prevention, compared to the United States, early detection programs are not only limited to the African people by means of cost, but they are also not supported by the existing health care infrastructure of the country. Treatment for cancer is also lacking in comparison to the US, which is a supportive factor for the ratios of incidence to mortality rates for Africa and the US provided in the website.

    American Cancer Society. “Cancer in Africa.” Atlanta: American Cancer Society. 2011, accessed July 6, 2014. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-031574.pdf.

  3. Hannah Porter says:

    I complete agree with your classification of cancer as a disease. This disease is perceived to be a serious condition anywhere you go and Mexico is no exception.
    Although there is still no cure for this disease there are many different types of treatments. In the US cancer patients tend to follow more conventional methods of treatment such a chemo, radiation, and other research studies but in other areas of the world, such as Mexico, there are a lot of other alternative treatments available. Most of these alternative treatment clinics are located in northern Mexico toward the US border, near Tijuana, this is so American patients can have relatively easy access to these treatments. Although alternative treatments may appeal to some patients suffering from cancer the US medical system issues strong warnings against the alternative therapies offered in Mexico, stating they can be considered dangerous or even possible of potentially causing more harm to the patient. This is because the laws in place to govern the Mexican health care system are a lot more lenient than regulations in other countries such as the USA and Europe. These less strict regulations can allow Mexican clinics to offer alternative treatments that have not been scientifically proven to have any effect. Some patients have reported that they experienced improvement due to these treatments, but there is still no scientific evidence to support these claims. Some of the alternative treatments offered in Mexico include Issels treatment (which is the process of increasing or rebuilding a patient’s immune system after the cancer has been surgically removed), Nutritional therapies, Oxygen therapies, Hydrotherapy, Hyperthermia (high temperature therapy), and many others. Although these treatments are offered in another country they still are no less expensive than treatments available in the US; in addition to the treatments themselves if a patient opts to seek treatment in Mexico they also have to worry about the expense of traveling and room and board fees.

    “Alternative cancer treatments in Mexico.” : Cancer Research UK : CancerHelp UK. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/cancer-questions/alternative-cancer-treatments-in-mexico (accessed July 7, 2014).

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