Being one of the longest prevailing diseases without a cure, cancer has claimed the lives of many people not only in the South Pacific but the world and has left many families destitute and traumatized. Cancer with its variety and names depending on the area of the body affected has led to an unpredictable increase in number of deaths in a society’s census affecting the population by the bulk each year. This essay will argue that cancer can be avoided and intends to list and describe ways in which it can be reduced to a minimum. The essay will unfold in two parts. Firstly it will elaborate on the causes of cancer.
Then it will briefly state solutions to help combat cancer. Cancer is the result of abnormal cell growth and is caused when a normal body cell does not function properly. The cell grows and divides uncontrollably without dying out finally becoming cancerous and a tumor results and symptoms vary depending on where the cancer is situated in the body. However, the cell does not become dysfunctional on purpose instead they are the result of many unhealthy choices made by individuals, thus the intentions in the first part of this essay is to briefly give detailed explanation on causes of cancer.
To begin with, research has shown that there are substances which are directly related to cancer. Substances known as carcinogens are found to provoke the cells typical function and investigations have found that exposure to these substances induce chances of getting cancer. These substances include “Tobacco, asbestos, arsenic, radiation such as gamma and x-rays, the sun, and compounds in car exhaust fumes…… ” (Medical News Today, 2012, p. 2). In addition, carcinogens are practically found everywhere from cosmetics to everyday useable items, these toxins are essentially ubiquitous consequently intensifying chances of getting cancer.
However, there are those individuals with bad habits such as smoking and over consume alcohol, their choices evidently lead to cancer and eventually impact their families. Furthermore, it has been proven that age is directly proportional to cancer. Older individuals are more susceptible to cancer compared to younger individuals in a society. Therefore age is vital when considering factors for the prevalence of cancer. “As we age, there is an increase in the number of cancer causing mutations in our DNA.
This makes age an important risk factor for cancer. ” (Medical News Today, 2012, p. 2). Viruses also play a role in causing cancer. Cancer caused by viruses is common in Pacific Island nations and the undeviating result of this problem is an increase in mortality rate and a decrease in life expectancy amongst pacific societies. According to Mr. Joe Tooma, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation, ‘in the Solomon Islands, cervical cancer is the number one cancer killer of woman…..
Almost all cervical cancer has been shown to be caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) ……’ Several other viruses such as HIV, Epstein-Barr virus which causes cancer common amongst children and hepatitis B and C which results in lung cancer have been identified to have an association with cancer. These viruses “suppresses or weakens the immune system- inhibits the body’s ability to fight infections and increases chances of developing cancer” (Medical News Today, 2012, p. 2).
In addition to this fact, according to Mr. Tooma it is predicted that ‘four out of five people all around the world will be exposed to HPV in their lifetime. ’ This is a very alarming figure and if society is not aware, the prediction may become reality. Although cancer is a possible threat to human existence, there are preventative measures that can be followed to reduce the problem. These measures include a healthy diet and lifestyle, good habits, regular checkups to clinics and vaccination.
Firstly, a healthy diet and lifestyle is vital and should be considered in an attempt to avoid cancer. A balanced meal with the right nutritional value will do more than just keep an individual fit, it will also reduce chances of getting cancer “since what we eat has been linked to the disease” (Medical News Today, 2012, p. 3). Maintaining a garden is recommended as it does not only provide fresh healthy meals but at the same time it keeps an individual fit due to physical efforts put into looking after the garden.
Older individuals should keep to a daily routine that involves exercise for at least thirty minutes, as they are more susceptible to cancer. However, having a garden will not be feasible for some families especially for those in urban areas who are only confined to the walls of their house or face restrictions due to tenancy policy. But, innovations such as flower pots and possibly an agreement with landlords can help solve this issue. Secondly, ridding of bad habits such as smoking and over consumption of alcohol will considerably lower the possibility of developing cancer.
Studies show that “choosing not to smoke tobacco or drink alcohol significantly lowers the risks of several types of cancer- most notably lung, throat, mouth and liver cancer. ” (Medical News Today, 2012, p. 3). Finally, regular checkups and vaccination is a necessary tool in avoiding and curing cancer. Victims have an opportunity to achieve remission through the use of services such as Pap smear tests, mammograms and testicular self-examinations. “… research has proven that by finding cancer early at stage 1 or 2, there is a 90 percent survival rate.
However, finding cancer late at stages 3 or 4 drops the survival rate to 10-20 percent”. (Fiji Cancer Society, 2007, p. 1). Purchasing of instruments to help aid in identifying damaged cells can also be a way for organization to reduce cancer rates. Instruments like colonoscope would be obliging as it would “assist in the early detection and treatment of bowel and intestinal cancers. ”(Vanuatu Daily Post Newspaper, 2012, p. 1). In addition to this fact, introductions of vaccines such as the anti-cervical cancer vaccine to combat against the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer in women.
There are also vaccines present that prevent viruses such as the hepatitis B or C virus from affecting its host. However, there are cases where it is difficult to give effective treatment or the cancer cannot be cured due to genetic predisposition in DNA that is inherited from parents. But that is the whole point of having a regular check up, in order to minimize damages the cancer has done to the body and through government aids, individuals with inherited genetic predisposition n their DNA could be helped by making access to medical services convenient to them. It is evident that cancer cannot be fully eradicated however; preventative measures can be taken to reduce the chances of developing cancer. The preceding measures stated in the contents of this essay can only be fulfilled when individuals are cautious of their choices and are aware of the impact their decisions will have on society, their family and most importantly themselves.