Hello. My name is Gabrielle Cromley and I am a student at Science Leadership Academy. For my English class, we were asked to do a project called You and the World in which we were to write three blog posts about a subject that was important to us. We have to make a change in the world or the community to help benefit our cause.
I chose to write about finding a cure for cancer and how medical malpractice and lack of government funding is preventing researchers from reaching their full potential. This issue is meaningful to me because I lost my cousin to lymphoma cancer. He received a sepsis infection from the hospital and was never able to recover. Watching him suffer and holding his hand as he took his last dying breath made me realize that no one should ever have to go what he went through or die from the negligence of others. He was also my godfather and he has a special place in my heart so I want to do all I can to make sure that he receives vengeance against this illness. This is also an important issue to me because I want to become an oncologist one day and medical malpractice and cancer research would directly relate to this career.
Cancer is a disease that is caused by abnormal cell growth and reproduction rapidly. The cell’s DNA is damaged which causes the cell to not perform actions normally. There are many types of cancer that can attack parts of the body and spread throughout it. Cancer causes physical, mental, emotional, and financial suffering for patients and their loved ones. As stated by the World Health Organization, “It is the main cause of death worldwide. Deaths from cancer worldwide are expected to continually rise to an estimated 13.1 million deaths by 2030.” In the United States alone, cancer still causes a substantial amount of death, most of which should have never happened.
Amounts of new cancer cases and death
You may think a hospital is always the safest place for the sick, but this is not always true. Many hospital patients’ lives are prematurely ended due to infection which is caused by negligence, medical malpractice, and just plain carelessness. “More than 45,000 cancer patients die from hospital caused infections which also wastes $8.1 billion,” states Miriam Falco in “Hospital-acquired Infections Lead to Substantial Loss in Life and Wastes Billions” Since cancer patients have immune systems that are susceptible to disease and infection, more precautions and care needs to be taken in order for the patient to be safe. As described below by The National Center for Biotechnology information, patients who are unknowingly not responding to treatment are likely to receive an infection depending on their type of cancer.
The frequency of infection is related to the type of underlying neoplastic disease, and most infections occur in patients who are no longer responding to the therapy of their neoplasm. About 80% of patients with acute leukemia, 75% of patients with lymphoma, and 50% of patients with multiple myeloma develop infection during the course of their disease, and infection is the proximate cause of death in a substantial fraction of these patients.
If doctors are unknowledgable to the fact that a patient is unresponsive, it could cost the patient his or her life. To learn more in depth data about infections in cancer patients click here.
A patient can also die or get worse due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation are harsh treatments that greatly affect the body, and for some people the effects can be deadly. Click here to read more about these therapies and their effects in “Death by Doctoring”. We should not limit ourselves to to only two main types of treatment. Through research, we can possibly find a more efficient treatment and maybe a cure.
The last obstacle that has to be faced before a cure can be found is government funding towards cancer research and for that matter all types of scientific research. According to The United States government only gives 2% of their budget to all scientific research. Chief medical officer, Richard L. Schilsky said, “This trend could potentially devastate future cancer research, just when we are on the verge of achieving major progress against cancer and identifying the next generation of effective cancer therapies.” Science is the door to the future that holds advancements and new opportunities that can help our world and we are going to disregard findings that could save lives. Also, cancer research is very expensive along with other forms of scientific research. Research cannot be conducted if there is no money to pay for what is needed. You cannot put a price on a life, which is why we as a country should do everything we can to help cancer patients out of their pain and suffering.
Graph of the United states budget