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Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis A Disease Overview Essay.

Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis A Disease Overview Essay.


Today, the United States is faced by a number of medical conditions that have proved costly both financially and socially. These medical conditions, not only affect the physical conditions of patients, they also have vast psychological effects on the society. Most of such diseases are terminal and may not be curable and thus put patients and affected families under psychological strains. One such disease is cancer. Diagnosis of cancer has been known to put the patient and family members under extreme psychological strains. However, clinical psychologist have argued that lack of public information about these conditions aggravate the situation. Proper educational programs would provide guidelines on how to handle such diseases in a manner that reduces the psychological impact upon diagnosis. Additionally, such educational programs would enlighten the public on causes of these diseases and how to minimize risks of contacting the diseases. This research therefore evaluates cancer and psychological aspects associated with the disease. The paper also reviews the educational program offered at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Additionally, the research will provide methods and ways of possibly improving the educational programs at Mayo clinic.Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis A Disease Overview Essay.



The term cancer has been used to refer to a groups of diseases medically referred to as Malignant Neoplasm. By definition, these are any diseases the exhibit the uncontrollable cell growth by the division of cells at an abnormal rate causing malignant tumors that invade neighboring body parts . The lymphatic system and blood circulatory system may also aid in spreading the cancer to more distant body parts.
It is difficult to determine exact signs and symptoms that cancers would exhibit since they are quite different and affect different parts of the body. However, medical experts have classified symptoms into three broad categories. These are local effects, systemic symptoms and metastasis.
Local effects are symptoms that occur due to the tumor caused by the cancer. A very good example of a local effect is blockage in the lung bronchus due to cancer in the lung. Blockage in the bronchus normally leads to coughing or pneumonia which indicates a problem in the lungs. Further examination of the lungs may reveal the cancer. Masses in the breast are quite detectable towards breast cancer. Narrowing of the esophagus leading to difficulty in swelling food may also point at esophageal cancer .

Systemic symptoms are other signs that occur at distant parts of the body due to cancer. Generally, systemic signs are defects in the manner in which the body operates or should operate but fails to do so due to cancer . For instance loss of body weight, frequent fever and changes in the skin pigmentation are pointers at a more serious internal body failure.

Metastasis is the final groups of signs that could point at cancer. These signs include an enlarged spleen in a condition called splenomegaly. This effect can be felt in the abdomen of the patient. Other metastatic signs include enlarged lymph nodes, enlarged liver or pain in the affected bones. Cancer has been known to affect all kinds of races, gender, age and culture. However, fewer cases of cancer are reported in children as compared to senior citizens. In general, Kato & Mann (2006) argue that risks of contacting cancer increases with age. However, the rate at which cancer is killing patient has been on the constant increase. In the year 2007, 7.9 million deaths worldwide were attributed to cancer. In the following year, about 12.7 million cases of cancer were diagnosed . As United States’ demographic seems to shifting to the elderly, the number of cancer is set to significantly increase over the next few decades.


There are several causes or environmental factors that increase the risks cancer. The leading causes of cancers have been indentified to be environmental causes. Chemicals in particular have been found to be a major contributor in causes of cancer. This is due to the fact that cancer can be traced back to DNA mutation from exposure to specific chemicals. For instance tobacco smoking has chemicals that affect cell DNA and thus cancer . Exposure to industrial chemicals in their workplaces may also increase chances of cancer.Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis A Disease Overview Essay.

Lack of proper diet and exercise also increases chances of contacting cancer. Lack of exercise weakens the body’s immune system increasing chances of getting diseases. Additionally, excess body weight reduces the effectiveness endocrine system and thus the body cannot properly manage itself.

Other causes of cancer include exposure to radiation, cancers caused by infectious diseases such as Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus, physical agents such as long exposure to asbestos and presence hormones that promote cell division. Some of these risk factors such as exposure to radiation, obesity, lack of exercise and chemical substances such as Tobacco smoking and alcohol can be easily controlled. However, risks of cancer emanating from other infections may be difficult to control.

Management and Treatment

There are several methods in which cancer can be managed depending on the type of the cancer and the extent of the infections. In general, cancer management options include radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care.

Radiation is the process of using ionizing radiation in trying to either cure or improve the conditions of the disease. It is commonly used together with surgery however in cases of head or neck cancer, radiation may be used alone. On the other hand surgery is the most used method in attempting to isolate cancers. Surgery has also been used in primary diagnosis of solid cancers and the eventual removal of the cancer . Other methods of management include palliative care which is concerned with making the patient feel better and with less pain and psychological strain.

Psychological Aspects of cancer

One of the biggest psychological aspects is the prognosis associated with the disease. Cancer is one of the most vilified diseases of our time. Indeed, most patients suffering from cancer either die of the disease or treatment of the disease . Moreover, patients who survive the disease are at a higher risk of developing a second primary cancer. Thus a diagnosis of cancers often brings one of the greatest health fears for a majority. Many assume that the end of life begins as soon as one is diagnosed with cancer.

In third world countries, the situation is much dire as compared to developed nations like the United States. Similarly low economic status patients lack the resources to go through the cancer treatment and management procedures that have proved expensive. Nations are also facing steep costs with regard to cancer treatment. The United States spent over $226.8 billion on cancer in 2007 . All these factors present cancer as matter of great psychological concern. Coping with cancer now shifts to become a solely psychological war and the resilience to fight onwards.

Therefore, adopting to a cancer diagnosis is probably one of the hardest aspects people face. Specialists in the field of psychology and psychiatry together with medical physicians have helped developed educational programs in hospitals and communities to assist the public cope with cancer.
Educational Program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

Mayo clinic has an education center seeking to provide information and resources in support of cancer patients after diagnosis. The education programs is composed of volunteers, staff care givers and the general public. Education on cancer at the clinic has several key components. One this key aspect is that the program is concerned with learning about cancer prevention and detections. The program further educates more about cancer diagnosis and the kind of cancer diagnosed of the patient. Education at the clinic further explores treatment or management options with regard to the specific cancers.Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis A Disease Overview Essay.

Another important component of the education program is connecting education session with support groups that provides important guidance and counseling sessions to patients and care givers. The education programs also address survivorship issues. Finally, the center assists patients and care givers on how to access resources that help in managing the cancer. Such resources include financial assistance, transportation, wigs and prosthetics.

Patient education at the education center is centered on the patient, family members and their companions. The center welcomes all members related to the patients in order to educate this particular group. The center also provides library for patients and members of the family. Additionally, a schedule or timetable of events and classes is provided. A constructive mode of teaching that calls for participation in class is encouraged. Patients express their psychological concerns about the diseases and are taught how to best overcome problems.
Improving the education program at Mayo Clinic

While the education program at Mayo Clinic seems impeccable and well thought out, more can be done to improve the program. First, the program seems more centered at educating patients and care givers, the program should shift it concentration to the general public. The program simply invites the public to its sessions no conceited effort is taken to have the general public more interested in the classes. Hence the program should now be directed at getting ot the general public.

Additionally, the program should involve other departments within the hospital in an attempt to change the lifestyle of Americans. The leading causes of cancer are mainly environmental and in most cases it has everything to do lifestyle. Smoking tobacco, excessive drinking of alcohol and lack of exercise are known increase the risk of cancer. The program should modify its direction towards changing the lifestyle of the American population.Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis A Disease Overview Essay.


There are several diseases that affect our society in several aspects. The psychological aspects of such diseases are vast and need to be addressed in order to sustain a good healthy nation. Cancer presents one such challenge to the society. Presently, the United States reports an increasing number of cancer cases. Psychological aspects of the disease affect the patient, family and friends. A diagnosis of the disease poses a great challenge for those concerned due to the vilified nature of the disease. Educating the public about the disease would go far in improving new state of the disease in the country.Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis A Disease Overview Essay.

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