What Does It Mean to Have Cancer in America?
What Is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease when the cells reproduce at an uncontrollable rate, resulting in a tumor, or multiple tumors. There are many different types of cancer including:
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
What Having Cancer in America is Like
Do you know someone who has or had cancer? Chances are you have, cancer has affected 1,658,370 people in the US alone, just in 2015. Taking these statistics into consideration, cancer doesn't receive enough attention or federal funding to go towards research for a cure. Although these statistics are frightening, there are some good things that come along with living in America while being diagnosed with cancer, because America has many highly successful research and treatment facilities. In America, 63% of young cancer patients live five years after being diagnosed. This is due to the various treatments patients can receive, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, hyperthermia, stem cell transplant, and photodynamic therapy. However, these treatments won't cure all patients, cancer is still a very serious disease that affects thousands of people and families everyday, it's a battle that families must overcome together.
How Cancer is Affected: Geographically
When most people think about diseases in Africa, most people think about AIDS/HIV, malaria, or polio because those are the diseases we hear most about. However, 60% of cancer deaths occur in the developing countries and only 5% of global resources to help patients are being used in the developing countries. Not only are there many cancer cases in developing countries, Africa's cure rate for cancer is only 5%, and there are only 4 facilities to help treat these patients. Since the majority of cancer cases are in developing countries, it would make sense to help Africa and send more technology, resources, doctors, and medicine to help cure the patients.
How Cancer is Affected: Generations
Having cancer as a baby or as a young child is extremely difficult. More than 175,000 children are diagnosed around the world, yearly. Although the majority of child cancer patients have genetically developed the disease, some children are affected because of the secondhand smoke in houses and because of environmental factors. This is heartbreaking because children are getting deadly diseases that they're not even responsible for, they can't even control is what is happening to them. Since children's bodies are also not as immune to diseases as adults' bodies, 1 in every 5 children living with cancer dies. Cancer is the leading cause of children's deaths than any other disease and yet less than 4% of federal cancer research funding is donated to childhood cancer research. Because of lack of federal funding, St. Baldrick's is dedicated to fundraising money for cancer research. It's looking up for the children; St. Baldrick's has raised $30,214,631 so far in 2015. With this funding, doctors can continue to work towards the common goal; a cure for cancer.