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Cancer The problem is cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world and my interest in the subject is simple. My mother is the most resilient person I have ever met. Any time I need any kind of inspiration, I need only to think of her. When she was eighteen she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. The doctors gave her a less than thirty percent chance of living. Since then she has had cancer three other times. Breast cancer twice in ‘85 and ‘90, and most recently, colon cancer two summers ago. She has had many different treatments including chemo and radiation therapy as well as surgery to remove lumps in both breasts and her colon. What is cancer? There are more than 100 different types of cancer. It occurs when cells become abnormal and divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in an orderly way to produce more cells only when the body needs them. If cells keep dividing when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms. This mass of extra tissue, called a growth or tumor, can be benign or malignant. (National Institute of Health) Benign tumors are not cancer. They do not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumors usually can be removed and are seldom a threat to life. Malignant tumors are cancer. They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Cancer can also break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream and lymphatic system. Through the lymphatic system is one of cancers best modes of transport for spreading to form new tumors in other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis. Malignant tumors must be treated or will be fatal. There are many treatments for cancer. Among these are rad... ... middle of paper ... and after two months the tumor was gone. When they asked her what she had done in the past two months she talked about positive mental imagery. She said she pictured the tumor as a large block of cheese and her immune system as a pack of mice. She envisioned the mice gnawing away on the cheese and she just started feeling better and better. The doctors had no explanation as to how the woman was sitting in the office telling them all this. Cancer is a horrible disease that effects millions of people every year. Further improvements are being made in past treatment techniques, and new theories are being formulated as we speak. There are so many different types of cancer that there will never be one pill that can be taken as a cure. Hopefully the rapid new findings in gene therapy will be what the world needs to beat the plague of the twentieth century.

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