Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Joseph's First Post

Hello, my name is Joseph Wojcik and I am currently a Junior majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Mathematics. I am excited to learn about cancer due to the gravity it holds. Many people have felt this weight in some way. I, myself, have felt this several times for both friend and family alike. For some, cancer can be more closely synonymized with death rather than illness. However, the disease itself generally does not evoke such imagery through appearance. Compared to many other diseases, cancer looks relatively benign. While some of the most feared diseases such as the plague are characterized by oozing sores and quick death, cancer can show little to no outward signs and can take years to overwhelm the patient. A cancer patient can look and feel healthy even when the cancer has metastasized to many areas of the body. However, the word cancer carries a degree of weight due to the seeming incurability of the disease. Cancer is enormously hardy and can sometimes withstand or escape current treatment techniques. Even in some of the cases in which it seems to have been completely eliminated, the cancer can still return due to small surviving patches that were missed during treatment. Furthermore, specific types of cancer can require specific therapy in order to be treated most effectively. However, it can be difficult to identify the type of cancer if it has metastasized throughout the body. Nevertheless, new ways of treating and diagnosing cancer are constantly being researched in order better aide patients. Some of the ones I am most interested in involve the utilization of the cancer cell's own biology against it, such as the use of circulating tumor cells in identifying the cancer as well as detecting its progress or relapse.