The Science And Nature Of The Disease

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Cancer is defined as a disease caused by uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. These cells can form a tumour that is either malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous) (Pierce et al 1971). The focus of this paper will be childhood cancer, in particular Neuroblastoma, which will be examined with reference to three main areas: the science and nature of the disease, the social context with relation to funding, and finally the contribution of Australian scientists into childhood cancer research. Childhood cancer, also known as paediatric cancer, occurs in children under the age of 15 years old. The three most common form of childhood cancer are: Leukaemia (31%), Brain tumour (21%) and Neuroblastoma (7%)(Haber et…show more content…
The social context of childhood cancer has greatly impacted the level of recognition the disease has had in society over the years, resulting in funding by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and in turn the extent of the research conducted by Australian scientists. Public awareness of Childhood Cancer has increased due to advertising and initiatives implemented by charities, organisations and governments. Initiatives such as Bandanna day - run by camp quality assist in raising public awareness for young people living with Cancer. The funds that are raised are put towards providing support for patients and their families, as well as funding research into childhood cancer and diagnosis (Canteen 2014). The Children’s Cancer Institute is a research organisation that is run by Professor Glenn M Marshall (who has received NHMRC funding), and is dedicated to finding a potential cure or drug for cancer treatment. This organisation works closely with the Kids Cancer Alliance, which is another research organisation. Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation organises many fundraising events to raise both money and awareness for Childhood Cancer (Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation 2014). They have a range of organisations that support them in their fight to help those
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