“In 2016, around 1,685,210 will be diagnosed with cancer, and of those million and a half, 595,690 will die of the disease”, says Cancer.gov. Cancer is an endless puzzle that has yet to be fully solved. Every year, countless people are ravaged by the horror that is known as cancer, and although we have worked tirelessly for a cure, nothing has come up. 100’s of different types (bladder, renal, pancreatic, leukemia) cancer makes it infinitely hard to treat as thousands of people seek for care and shelter.
What is the science behind cancer? Well, in simple terms, cancer is when body cells develop abnormally and then proceed to split incredibly quickly. These cells divide without stopping or slowing down and eventually, form a mass called a tumor. There are two types of tumors: benign and malignant. A benign tumor does not pose an active threat to the body of a human, but can become a cancerous tumor later on. A malignant tumor poses an active threat to the body and can release extra cancerous cells that can be quickly spread around the body. Cancer is related to a process called mitosis that regularly occurs within the body.
Mitosis is the process in which a cell divides in order to allow for efficiency within a body. Cancer occurs when a cell doesn’t develop completely and then splits uncontrollably until a tumor forms. Cancer cells do not react to signals produced by the body, which explains the uncontrollable behavior of a cancerous cell. Cancer is incredibly dangerous because of the tumors that are formed.
These can cause blockage inside of the body, blocking blood flow, and raising the pressure inside the brain cavity to dangerously high level. This can cause sickness, headache, and drowsiness, according to Cancer Research UK. Calcium from bones breaking down can leak into the bloodstream causing serious complications as well as severe dehydration and constipation. If cancer spreads to other organs, in can seriously affect their performance, eventually killing the victim if not treated. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Cancer disparities are differences in cancer measure”.
These measures can include incidence, mortality, survivorship, screen rates and much more. Disparities are usually classified by race, but recently, they have been determined in different ways such as gender and income. Everyone is at risk, however all at different amounts. People of the minority are generally at a higher risk as they may not have an adequate health care plan. Or perhaps their socio-economic status or income affects them as well. People in poorer communities are also at a higher risk due to everyday habits such as smoking and drinking. In recent years, disparity has gone down significantly to the lowest levels recorded. However, differences still exist due to ethnicity and racial background.
According to Cancer.gov, black male and female deaths from cancer greatly overshadow the death of whites. 254,000 deaths due to cancer for males versus 163.8 deaths to cancer for females (African-American). However, compared to whites, African-American overshadow the death rates incredibly: 204,000 for males and 143,400 for females respectively (whites). However, if focused upon one specific cancer type, lung cancer in this case, it’s easy to see obviously skewed results. According to Cancer.
gov, incident rates for Bile/Liver Cancer was at 7.5 individuals per 100,000 (for white citizens in 2011). However, incident rates for this cancer in 2011 for blacks were much higher; at 11.4 incidents per 100,000. This proves how black people have a greater chance of getting lung cancer compared to the contemporary white person.According to the Pew Research Center, heads of black households generally only receive half of the income of a white head of household.
Research conducted by the same institute finds that whites are half as likely to be under the poverty compared to blacks.