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Emily Tyre

William Loudermilk

ENG 1201

29 October 2020

Literature Review

The topic I researched is cancer and my research question states, what can

cancer do to someone and how has it tried to be cured? Some ideas that are driving my

questions are, my uncle was diagnosed with stomach and liver cancer and didn’t live

through it so I wanted to know more about it and how it is trying to be treated. This topic

is very well known but many people do not know what it truly is and what it does. The

main idea that is repeated again and again in these sources is what cancer is. For

example, in the article by Gale it says, “Cancer is a broad term for a family of diseases

that can strike any part of the body and that result from the abnormal growth of cells.”

and in the interview with Demetri he says, “Cancer represents many different diseases,

but at its heart cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells, which then attain the quality of

being able to spread through the body and get in the way of the normal body working

mechanisms.” These two definitions are very similar and appear in many of my other

sources as well.

Some history of this subject is that it has been greatly known more than it did in

the 1900s and it has also found many different ways of treatment over the years. In an

article published by Gale it says, “Medical innovations beginning in the late 1950s have

allowed patients to receive stem cell transplants to replace bone marrow damaged by
cancer or cancer treatments. This procedure is expensive, however, and like more

traditional cancer treatments, can feature severe side effects including pain, nausea,

infections, new cancers, and death. Other recent innovations in treating certain cancers

include inducing hyperthermia... Health care professionals and patients also advocate

for the use of cannabis to treat cancer symptoms and the negative effects of cancer

treatment.” This shows how much we have studied the subject and how we have come

to learn different treatments that decrease the rate of cancer. We used to have very

severe surgerys to be able to decrease it but now we are much more advanced and can

use much simpler treatments that help immensely.

One opposing viewpoint is that one article believes that the leading cause of

cancer may be drugs/alcohol while another belives it is just from common cancer and

not anything added to it. In the interview, Demetri says, “The leading causes of cancer

deaths are due to the common cancers.” while in the article by Rachel Nall it states,

“Over 480,000 people die in the U.S. each year from smoking cigarettes.” They both

could be correct in their own way. Demetri focuses more on the overarching theme of

what cancer causes the most deaths, but he doesn’t necessarily answer the question of

what the “leading causes of cancer deaths” are. Nall focuses more on what causes the

deaths and that is smoking cigarettes while having cancer.

Some common misconceptions on this subject is that cancer cannot be cured

and that it cannot be passed on to others. Many cancers are not able to be “cured” but

some, in a way, are. In an article by Sharon Begley it clearly states, “Some cancers are
curable.” Earlier in the article she says that by “cured” they don’t mean that they still

have to watch the patient and be on the lookout, they mean that it is completely gone.

This proves that there are some instances where cancer is curable and completely

taken away. For the second misconception, cancer can in fact be passed on to one

another, just not by the way we typically think. Cancer cannot be passed on by being in

contact with the patient but it can be passed on genetically. In the article by Rachel Nall

it says, “Genetic factors can contribute to the development of cancer.” This shows that

cancer can be passed on, but by genetics instead of by contact.

There are many key points that each article addresses. The first is that most all

of the sources go into detail about the cures and treatments for cancer. This is a key

point because it explains how it is being taken care of and how people are trying to

eliminate it. Rachel Nall went into this subject when she said, “Kids with leukemia, men

with testicular cancer, and patients who are alive because of Gleevec or herceptin have

their miracles. For the first time, people with cancers that have long outwitted science

have a realistic chance of getting a miracle, too.” This shows that people are doing all

they can to increase the chances of those who are diagnosed and we are achieving

many great things.

The second key point is what cancer is and the different types of it. This is important

because to be able to learn more about a subject, you need the definition and different

examples. In Rachel Nall’s article she says, “Cancer is a broad term. It describes the

disease that results when cellular changes cause the uncontrolled growth and division
of cells.” This is a very short and simple definition but it gives you an idea of what it is

and what it can do to someone’s body. Even in the article “Curing Cancer”, it doesn’t list

what it is but it does give examples of it so you can see some of the main idea. This

gives you more information on cancer and helps you identify the main points. All of

these sources help answer the overall question of what cancer can do to someone and

how it has tried to be cured.

Works Cited

Begley, Sharon. "Curing Cancer." Newsweek, vol. 156, no. 11, 13 Sept. 2010, p. 44. Gale In

Context: Opposing Viewpoints,

76. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

"Cancer." Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2017. Gale In Context: Opposing


2a6c. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020

Garmon. “The Truth About Cancer . Interviews with Experts: Dr. George Demetri.” PBS, Public

Broadcasting Service,

Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

Ranchod, Yamini. Cancer: Overview, Causes, Treatments, and Types. 6 Jan. 2020, Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

Yabroff, K.Robin, et al. “Medical Financial Hardship among Cancer Survivors in the United

States: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?” Cancer Epidemiology,

Biomarkers & Prevention, vol. 27, no. 12, Dec. 2018, pp. 1389–1397. EBSCOhost,