Treatments For Cancer Essay

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Almost everyone is touched by cancer in some way and the number of people living with and beyond cancer grows greater every year. Globally 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year and 8 million people will die from it annually. Half of all men and one-third of all women will develop cancer during their lifetime. (13) There are many treatments for cancer, mainly: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. These traditional treatments have many negative side effects. Therefore, increasingly, other treatments, such as hormonal therapy and targeted therapy are being used for certain cancers. Nanotechnology is a form of targeted therapy that destroys cancer tumors with minimal damage to healthy tissues and organs. Scientists are already using nanotechnology in early detection of elimination of cancer cells before they form tumors. But the real game changer will be when nanotechnology targets cancer tumors in treatment (11,13). Cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control; the cells don't die, instead they continue to divide into other abnormal cells. These abnormal cells invade other tissues; this type of cancer is called metastatic cancer. If these abnormal cells get into the lymphs or the blood stream they spread and replace all other normal cells, eventually taking over the entire body and killing the person. These abnormal cancer cells are caused by damaged DNA due to sun exposure, cigarette smoke, lifestyle choices, or inherited damaged DNA. (12) Nanotechnology is the manipulation of structures at nano levels. It uses incredibly small materials, devices, and systems to manipulate matter. These structures are measured in nanometers, or one billionth of a meter, and can be used by themselves or as part of larg... ... middle of paper ... ...nessing “the power of nanotechnology” to radically change the way we diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer.” The most likely method implemented will by the use of nanovectors for targeted delivery of anticancer drugs, and then heating nanoparticles that are attached to cancer cells so that the cancer cells explode. (5, 9) There are still many obstacles that must be overcome before this is a reality: from the ethical concern by some that nanobots will take control of the body to the more practical problem that this method of treatment will be very expensive and funding will be an issue. (6) But with millions of people suffering from some form of cancer, scientists are searching for cures and treatments and nanotechnology offers the greatest promise. One day, cancer may be completely curable thanks to nanotechnology which is something everyone would benefit from.
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