Cancer And The Canadian Cancer Statistics Essay

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According to the Canadian Cancer Statistics (2015), “about 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime, and about 1 in 4 Canadians will die of cancer” (p. 6). In 1971, President Nixon and Congress declared a war on cancer. Since then, the U.S Federal government has spent over 105 billion on the effort. Dr. Spector and Dr. Kolata, a noted professor of medicine, pharmacology and biochemistry, have noted that since 1950, the cancer death rate, adjusted for the size and age of the population has decreased by only 5%. They argue that there has been little progress on the war against cancer. To begin with, I will look at what cancer is. I would like to look at cancer as a disease and the social determinants of this perspective. I would then like to investigate cancer as an illness and look at the narrative of this experience including its social determinants. Finally, I will address the differences and similarities between the two. Cancer is listed as the second most common cause of death in western countries; particularly, in adults. Though it has a long antiquity, its prevalence and incidence today is pervasive and the war on cancer has not been promising. Malignant neoplasia is characterized by uncontrolled growth and the ability to metastasize or spread from the original site. Cancer results from mutations that promote cell proliferation and inhibit cell adhesion (metastasis). According to the National Cancer Institute (2016), “Cancer can also spread regionally,

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