|Author: Prince Foday|
Cancer is a relevant health problem in the world and is becoming of immense concern to our society. Before addressing the reasons for financing cancer, it is significant to have knowledge about cancer. The emergence of cancer had attracted contributions on its meaning from various clerics and cancer institutions. The National Cancer Institute defines cancer as “a name given to a collection of related diseases and that in all types of cancer some of the body cells begins to divide without stopping and spreading into surrounding tissues”. Cancer Research UK viewed cancer as “a situation where abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way and that some cancers may spread into other tissues”. Macmillan Cancer Support provided their own take on cancer as “something that starts in our cells (cells being tiny building blocks that make up the organs and tissues of our body) and that sometimes the cells goes wrong and become abnormal and forms itself into lump called tumour”. Battison, T. (2002) suggest cancer to be something that covers various types of malignant tumour and not just a single-handed disease. He further emphasised that there are over more than two hundred types of cancer and each of them have their unique signs and features based on the types of cancer, which he mentioned that there are three types and they are: Carinoma, Sarcoma and Lymphoma. Carcinoma, as he insists, crops up in the tissues that are developed from the cells and generates into many compositions in the adult in places such as the lungs, stomach, intestines, mouth, glands that make secretions, the lining of the throat, prostrate, pancreas and salivary glands. Sarcoma, as he indicates, is like a form of tumour that originates from the middle layer of the embryo and this forms into fat, fibrous tissue, muscles and bones. Lymphoma, as he suggests, is a form of tumour that grows in the lymphoid tissue in the body and this is found in the bone marrow, the spleen and the lymph glands where the blood cells are established and leukaemia will form if the malignant process entails the blood-erupting tissues in the bone marrow. The questions that may be asked and desires answers are: why finance cancer? What are the advantages and disadvantages to this? Cancer being a serious health problem clearly justifies the need to spend money on it for preventive and curative reasons. Arlen Specter proposed by ranking heart disease as the prime killer followed by cancer and that the dreadful issue about the two diseases are that they can be healed and that this can only be possible if enough funds are available. Specter’s suggestion sends the signal about the importance of finance to the cure of cancer. The fact he expressed is that cancer can be cured if and only if the needed finance is available and this triggers the need for financing cancer. However, there are pros and cons to financing cancer, something that is an inevitable phenomenon for any health problem.
Why Finance Cancer?
In addressing the issue of the need for financing cancer, we need to consider money that needs to be spent on health promotion to prevent the cancer from source, research that needs to be conducted to cure the cancer and the issue of ensuring a healthy population for the purpose of their contributions to the economy.
Health promotion on cancer requires money, as there is need to use the different channels of communication to get the message to those that are in potential risk. The sensitisation on cancer using the print media, radio and television is not free but a fee is levied based on the space required. Cancer awareness is ongoing and this involves finance to get the message to the target group. Battison, T. (2002) hinted that there are many known facts and great deal of fiction about what causes cancer and most people will know a little of both. Most families have experienced cancer so it is not a surprise that people have gathered information along the way, picked up from word of mouth, the television and magazines. Battison’s statement clearly tells us about the importance of cancer sensitization and such health promotion is ideal in eliminating any false story that may emerge about cancer.
Research is the prime to our society, so researching on cancer can unveil much information on cancer and can further help in finding the cure to cancer. Research involves finance and it needs both capital (space and equipments needed) and recurrent expenditure (salary and other administrative expenses). The findings and recommendations from cancer research are very important to our society and this will create a leeway for curative measures. Scotting, P. (2010) propounded that since the 1990s, however, the number of deaths from cancer has begun to drop significantly. Research has at last begun to have an impact on many cancers, and because of our interest in cancer, we have learnt a huge amount about how cells and the body normally work. This understanding promises to have even greater impact on our ability to combat cancer over the next ten to twenty years. Scotting’s statement pinpoints on the relevance of cancer research and how this is helping to reduce the rate of the cancer disease. Cancer research requires huge amount of money but the impact of the research in preventing and curing cancer is what really matters. The benefit that our human society derives from research findings far outweigh whatever money that is spent on cancer. Humanity and humility are important ingredients to a better society, so money spent on research is important to get those affected and those who may be potentially affected by cancer back on their feet to carry on their daily lives, and this in effect will have a ripple-effect on the economy.
Economic growth can be achieved through a healthy population or cancer free population. Where the population is healthy they will be able and fit for work and the services provided will boost the economy. The contributions to the economy from a cancer free working population will help government raise finance to meet its expenditure, hence, another reason why cancer should be financed. Sachs, J. (2002) suggested that disease stricken countries are to large extent vulnerable to the social problems of economic malaise, internal conflicts and displaced populace. Professor Sachs’s argument hits the nail in the right hole on the relationship between health and economic growth. Health and economic growth are directly related. Spending on health will have a positive effect on the economy. When the working population of a country is healthy, they can contribute a great deal to the economy. The ultimate result to this is a rise in the gross domestic product (income from consumers and both private and public investments) from one year to the other. Spending on health is the right thing for a nation to do so as to avoid the collapse of the economy. A healthy population can promote sustainable circular flow of income between households and firms. Households will be fit or healthy to provide services to earn income and the income earned will be spent on goods and services produced by firms.
Although financing cancer is the appropriate thing for any nation to do, there are pros and cons to it.
Pros and Cons
Health promotion on cancer can make people to be aware and alerted about cancer and this can generate the needed caution for people to avoid it. People will take up precautionary measures to avoid potential cancer. The cure from cancer derived from research can help save cancer patients and put their lives back to normal or give them the needed relief from the trauma and frustrations from cancer. Those that recover from cancer can be able and fit to work and this will make them provide services to raise revenue to meet their domestic expenses and save to meet unexpected situations or unforeseen contingencies.
Health promotion may sometimes be misleading and this will make the target group to take up the wrong information. Battison, T. (2002) presented that unfortunately not all information passed around is entirely accurate and the myths that circulate can result in people believing wrongly about the causes and control of the disease. This may cause people to suffer unnecessary guilt and anxiety as to whether or not they caused their own cancer and about how the cause of the sickness will run. For example, it is commonly supposed that having cancer implies lingering and painful death, which is not true. The statement from Battison implies how the wrong awareness about cancer can lead people to imbibe fictitious information on cancer. Having the wrong information that cancer will lead to death will put the target group into immense fear that will be difficult to heal. The experimental treatment may cause harm, say; the use of X-ray to diagnose cancer will generate radioactive radiation which can be dangerous to the patient. The trauma and frustrations from cancer can breed a psychological torture which cannot be easy to heal. Batttison further expressed that diagnose of cancer can invariably trigger strong emotions, leaving everyone involved feeling scared and confused. Initial reactions may vary, but most people express shock and disbelief and often ask the same questions over and over again: What did I do wrong? What can I do about this dreadful thing that is happening to me? Battison’s statement touches on what exactly our society feels about cancer. Any victim of cancer is bound to have that fear and mental torture and some may not even cope with it. The stigma attached to the dreadful disease will live any to embrace the fear that accompanies it and lives the one having the disease to a perpetual psychological torture. It can cost money and time for the patient, as the patient needs to make ongoing visits to the hospital and this involves money and time.
Based on the discussions above, one would conclude that it is a great thing to do to finance cancer. If anyone could argue this, then it is like prioritising money than human health. We human beings are valued more than money. The brain behind the creation of money to solve the problems associated with barter system (exchange of good for good) emanated out of sound health, hence, the need to spend money on health and cancer being one of the health problems. The brain can only function well when one is healthy. We can only think and act effectively when we are healthy. There are three important phases to cancer and they are: Awareness Phase, research phase and rehabilitation Phase. These phases require finance. The awareness phase is the sensitisation stage and this stage needs oral, written and visual medium to get the message to the target group. There is the demand for using newspapers, magazines, journals, radio, billboards and so forth and all these sensitisation outlets require money. Research on cancer desires huge amount of money and the gains from it outweighs the money spent on it. Those with cancer require rehabilitation due to the ongoing fear, trauma and psychological torture that are linked with the victim. Finance is needed to cure those with cancer and give hope to those affected and this demands professionalism or the ideal institution to deliver that. No matter what arguments that may emerge to counter the need for financing cancer, human lives are paramount and health is wealth. This is because a healthy population can build on the wealth of the nation. We are all human beings and that humility and finance provided for those affected by cancer are important ingredients in creating an impact on their lives. Every little financial contribution can be of great help in striving towards a cancer free society.
Amstrong, S. (2014), P53: The Gene that cracked the Cancer Code, ISBN (Paper Back): 978-1-4729-1052-3
Scotting, P. (2010), Cancer, A Beginners Guide, ISBN: 978-1-85168-755-8
Bor, R., Eriksen, C.and Stapelkamp, C. (2010) Coping with the Psychological Effects of Cancer, ISBN: 978-1-84709-097-3
Priestman, T. (2008) Reducing Your Risk of Cancer, what you need to know, London, Sheldon Press, ISBN: 978-1-84709-021-8
Shah, P. (2012) Testicular Cancer, The Essential Guide, London, Needs2Know, ISBN: 978-1-86144-265-9
Priestman, T. (2006) Coping with Breast Cancer, London, Sheldon Press, ISBN: 0-85969-968-4
Battison, T. (2002) Caring for Someone with Cancer, ISBN: 0-86242-382-1
Tumors, B., Stork-Vance, V.and Dubay, M. (2004) 100 Questions & Answers About Brain Tumors, ISBN: 0-7637-2308-8
Smith, T. (2010) Coping Successfully with Prostate Cancer, ISBN; 978-1-84709-104-8
Brown, Z.K., Freeman, H.P.and Platt, E. (2007) 100 Questions & Answers About Breast Cancer (Second Edition), London, Jones & Barlett Publishers Internation
Sachs, J. (2002) Macroeconomics and Health: investing in health for economic development, the Courier, the magazine of ACP-EU development cooperation March-April 2002, page 6, No 191, ISSN 1606-2000
London, United Kingdom