Thursday, April 2, 2009


You know those days where you feel like nothing could ever go wrong? Well I had one of those days about 4 years ago. It was about this time my freshman year, my first semester of high school was almost over and I had almost escape with only a few downfalls. I knew it was to good to be true when I best friend came up to me and told me about her mom, she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and was said to only have a couple months to live. After we got the assignment for this essay I wanted to do something that I felt passionately about so I chose cancer as my topic. I wanted to research something that affects everyday people and something that has affected me in a great deal as well. I figured I could learn a lot more about it and understand more about how it affects other people.

When I think about the writing process, I first look at how I perceive things then look at how others perceive it as well. In my life I consider myself to be pretty fortunate I haven’t lost a whole lot of people close to me compared to others who have lost many relatives and friends. It has been a little over a year since my best friend’s mother lost her life to cancer that she battled for many years after she was only given a couple months. Since that day my view has changed on many things, life being one of them. So how does cancer affect people? Well just keep reading and you will find out how it has effect me at least.

In the writing process the next step I take is figuring out what information I need and where I can get it. I have always found the Internet most useful when doing any research papers because I find it the easiest to use. Most of the time when I am searching for sources to use for papers, I use Yahoo as my search engine ( Once I got to the yahoo web page I searched for web pages on “Cancer.” Of the 12,800,000 that came up I only looked at about 20 of the web pages and only used 4 of them for this paper. Yahoo normally comes up with many helpful web sites and many sources that help me to make conclusions about my topic but you always get the few that have no relevance what so ever. After finding sources and information I began writing my paper. I myself don’t really choose to do much brainstorming because I feel that is doesn’t help me in the long run, but I do go through many rough drafts before coming to a final decision on a paper.

The first source I found myself looking at was the “American Cancer Society” Web page ( The web page contains many different areas of cancer. It includes an area for patients and their families and friends, which are the parts I found myself looking at the most. On this website I found out many statistics about cancer and the majority of people it affects. Cancer affects over one million people each year and about 77% of all people diagnosed with cancer are over the age of 55. Cancer always starts when there is an abnormal cell growth in the body. The reason to why cancer is caused hasn’t really been discovered yet but doctors have their reasons to think one-way or the other.

The next source I looked at was also on the Internet. It was the “National Cancer Institute” (, which I found very useful but also very similar to the American Cancer Society Web page. On this web page the homepage is more user friendly then the ACS (American Cancer Society) was because all the topics were listed on the home page. Much of the information I found on this website was the same stuff I previously found but some of the information went into more details. The website provided me with a better insight to cancer as a whole and what types are cancers there are out there. The National Cancer Institute web page talks about ways to test and screen cancer and a lot of other information on cancer the disease itself. The web site also talks about cancer treatments and the side affects they tend to take on people and how to care for a patient when taking on the battle. This web site also provided me with many web sites that I could be connected with to get a number of statistical data for the disease and many other things.

The third source I looked at on the Internet was the “Cancer Care” website ( I found this website very hard to read and not very useful for this paper. The title is what caught my attention for this web site to begin with. I thought that with a title like “Cancer Care” it would help with some information about my topic. I thought from the name that the web site was going to be a lot more useful but once I opened it up and started searching I realized that it was more for families to seek help for a loved one then for research and finding out more about the topic itself. This site wasn’t very useful in that it talks about cancer care services and how to come in contact with someone that can help you care for a loved one. This web site also included a section called managing your cancer which informed people with cancer all the side affects that would be caused and the pain that would occur.

My fourth Internet source I looked at was “National Alliance Breast Cancer Organization” ( This web page was useful in that it showed that there are other types of cancer. This web page shows statistics for breast cancer as opposed to cancer overall. This website would be very helpful in my research paper because it would help me to narrow down my search and put facts about different types of cancer in my paper. There are statistics such as about 200,000 people not just women but men as well are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women in the United States. The statistics show that 39,800 women are expected to die from breast cancer this year. After looking at this web site it made me think a lot about my own health and the health of my family members.

One of my other sources was from our book The Brief Bedford Reader. In our book there is a story called “The Cancer-Cluster Myth.” In this story the author Atul Gawande talks about misconceptions that are often made by people about cancer. In this story the people of a small community think that the cancer is all contagious or caused by something in the community itself. After looking at all my other sources while I researched the topic, I realize that Cancer isn’t a contagious disease but it is something that is commonly thought of that way. To this day doctors are still trying to figure out what causes cancer and how it can be cured.

After the extensive researching I went through I thought I had enough information to research my topic. After doing all the researching I am aware that this is a very vulnerable topic for all the people that are affected by cancer day in and day out. After all the research I have a better understanding of what to know and to do. While writing this essay I thought to myself, “How do people get through this?” It takes a very strong individual to make it through a rough patch such as cancer. I often thought back to last year about this time when I was comforting my best friend. I now realize that cancer is a battle that is hard to fight but that people do it day after day and people are continuing to win that battle with better odds now then before.

Many people are finding that cancer can be beat with a wide variety of treatments. In addition, it is very expensive to treat any kind of cancer but individuals that have family medical histories that include cancer can now include cancer insurance on their medical plans. While this type of insurance is costly it can mean the difference between exceptional treatment and a standard treatment. If I could share one message with anyone about cancer it would be that regular checkups with your doctor as well as routine examinations as you age can be the difference between life and death. Many women do not have mammograms when needed; as well as many men do not have prostate examinations when required. These routine exams can detect these types of cancer easily and quickly. After researching this topic I have found that not only will I continue to have my regulars exams, but also I will encourage anyone else to do the same.

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