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The American Cancer Society (ACS) defines cancer as a group of diseases that are characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. Cancer Research Papers begin by over viewing the characteristics of cancer, which are abnormality, uncontrollably, and invasiveness. Research papers show normal functions of the body are carried out by healthy cells, but cancer cells stop behaving normally. Normal cells divide rapidly to supply the new growth necessary to replace injured cells, then return to a normal rate of division. Cancer cells divide haphazardly, and accumulate into a non-structured mass or tumor. The tumors become invasive when they spread beyond their point of origin, and even after spreading, they continue to behave like the cancer at the original site. Cancers behave differently, depending on the organ in which they originate.
Classification of Cancer
All our cells share a majority of functions and are similar in structure. Cancers can be classified by function and location of the cells from which they originate. The following are examples of cancer classifications:
- Carcinomas are derived from epithelial cells, which line the surfaces of organs and skin, airways, and digestive tract. Carcinomas are the most common kinds of cancer and account for about 80-90% of reported cancers.
- Sarcomas are derived from connective tissues, fat, bone, muscle, or cartilage.
- Leukemias originate from white blood cells or their precursors.
- Lymphoma affects the lymphatic system and is a cancer of bone-marrow derived cells.
- Myeloma is a cancer of the white blood cells that are responsible for the manufacture of antibodies.
The Future of Cancer Research
Arguably, cancer poses one of medical science’s greatest enigmas. Although new research is available each year that brings man closer to a cure, the reality is that cancer, for the most part, remains almost incurable. However, after decades of research, Sobel reports that researchers may have found the key to unlocking the mysteries of cancer. According to Sobel cancer is not just an aberration of cellular growth; rather scientists have found that what make cancer unique is its genetic profile. In other words, although cancer cell may visually appear identical under a microscope, there are genetic mechanisms—unseen by the naked eye—that cause some cancers to be malicious, while others remain dormant for years.
In addition to understating the genetic uniqueness of various types of cancer, scientists are also considering new blood, urine and saliva tests that can be utilized to detect cancer before it even manifests as a tumor. Because early detection is the best weapon in the fight against cancer, researchers are developing tests to discover what protein and waste residues are left behind when cancer is present in the body. Because cancer cells leave specific by products in the human body, scientist believe that by detecting these by products they can find a more effect means for treating cancer.
The molecular profiling of cancer may eventually provide a cure for this disease. As science and technology become more advanced and techniques become more sensitive to detecting the by products associated with cancer cell proliferation, it is possible that society may see the eradication of all forms of cancer within the next 20 or 30 years. Given the countless number of individual that have given their lives to this disease, a cure would be nothing short of a miracle.