W1 Activity: Cancer

W1 Activity: Cancer

My definition of health is the condition of the body and what is wrong with it if anything. Looking at the human body as a whole and what is perfect health ie. No problems and minor issues like obesity. My definition of illness is something that is either physically or mentally wrong with a person. Does this mean a person need treatments, no because not all illnesses need treatment or can be even treated.
I feel this criterion came from many different avenues that only time and experience has molded into my way of thinking. It’s a mix of society with what people think, the media with the thousands of commercials and programs they show on the topics, family with those who have had these illnesses, personal experience as I get older or see how others deal with it, school with the education that I am taught and work with the jobs I have had and currently hold. I am sure as I get older the way I draw these conclusions will change as they do continuously with everyone with age comes knowledge.
Cancer and old age seem to be two conditions from the topic page that go hand in hand, not saying that you can’t have one without the other, but having both seem to speed up the death process from my experience. Are they both illnesses, I think yes both are illnesses that if severe enough causes death. Old age is something that you can never come back from as the body starts to decay and shut down till death finally occurs. Cancer is the better of the two because with Cancer you can be cured in either minor or major cases. Why they are illnesses, because both attack the body and both can make you sick in one form or another.

3 thoughts on “W1 Activity: Cancer

  1. Hey Paul. I liked your insight on what your definitions of both health and illness are. To common on your correlation between cancer and old age, I agree that they do go hand in hand. To provide some insight, I did some research about cancer and cancer treatment in other parts of the world. I landed on just focusing on some countries in Africa. It was interested that you made the correlation between cancer and old age because that was exactly the relationship they talked about on the website. Two countries in Eastern Africa (Zimbabwe and Zambia) account for the lowest life expectancy and the highest cancer rate in the world. It is true that those two go hand in hand. Treatment in different nations in Africa differs because of different cultures and obviously low income plays a huge factor. I found an article written in the Huffington Post that was called “Fighting and Enemy That Has No Name.” This is true for many small tribes and different cultures in Africa. For example, the Twi people refer to skin cancer as “sasabro,” which means a disease that eats away at you. I could elaborate on different treatment methods in this very large continent, but it would take all day. There is a common misconception that cancer only affects the rich, but there are many different kinds of cancer in several areas of Africa. To the Twi people, cancer is perceived as an evil illness that doesn’t go away. In the smaller tribes, there are different methods of medicine that the people try to use to help, but essentially it costs a lot of money and time to cure cancer. There have also been relief efforts from wealthier countries.

    American Cancer Society. “Cancer In Africa.” http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-031574.pdf.

    Kelland, Kate. “Cancer in Africa: Fighting An Enemy That Has No Name.” Huffington Post, May 1, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/africa-cancer_n_1466691.html.

  2. Hey Paul! I found a really cool website, called PACE Global, that is doing so much research on cancer and cancer awareness throughout the globe. I totally agree with you that cancer is definitely an illness. I defined illness as some sort of imbalance within your body and cancer has been defined as the rapidly, uncontrolled growth of a tumor. I think it is very interesting to learn about how other cultures perceive cancer, as many other countries are not as advanced in their medical world to understand cancer. In a survey, people were asked “Is cancer a death sentence?”. In the US 65% voted no, whereas in Japan only 36% voted no, Germany 48% voted no, and Italy 49% voted no. As you can see, the highest percentage were the American people who obviously had the most faith in cancer treatments, whereas the people of Japan were the most afraid of a cancer diagnosis. It is very interesting to note the percentages from these countries that would be interested in advancing their treatments and clinical trials. In the US 77% agreed that there needed to be more clinical trial opportunities. In Japan 67%, Germany 72% and Italy 76%. Although this does not specifically discuss types of treatments, these statistics show that people in other cultures are interested in advancing treatment in cancer.

    “Cancer Perception Index: A Global Public Opinion Poll”. PACE GLOBAL, 2015. Accessed May 24th, 2015. https://pacenetwork.com/pace_index.php

  3. Hey Paul!
    I really enjoyed reading your post! I also picked old age but I did not pick cancer and I thought it was interesting the way you related the two to one another! Also, you take on old age being categorized as an illness had me really thinking because I did not have that take when I was writing my post.
    Online I found people comparing cancer to diabetes or heart disease which seemed crazy at first because I always think of Cancer as being such a harsh, horrible illness; whereas, diabetes and heart disease doesn’t seem to hit me as hard when I hear it. Yet, now that I think about it they can both be controlled with treatment. All three of these chronic illnesses can be controlled with treatment, making them similar.
    I considered old age to not be an illness but rather a factor. Illness’s can come from old age like dementia, Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.
    I found that in other countries having an illness such as cancer is seen as a taboo. A women from China developed cancer and kept quiet about her illness because of the culture she was raised in. I assume that there are many other cultures out there that are the same way.
    Lagnado, Lucette. “In Some Cultures, Cancer Stirs Shame.” WSJ. 4 Oct. 2008. Web. 25 May 2015.
    “Treating Cancer as a Chronic Illness.” Treating Cancer as a Chronic Illness. American Cancer Society, 19 June 2013. Web. 25 May 2015.

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