Cancer was a disease known in ancient Egypt and its most popular treatment was to brand the sick part of the body (fortunately it’s no longer used!).
AD 130-200, in ancient Greece, anatomist Caudius Galen made studies on cancer and described the state of being “melancholic” as the most important reason for breast cancer. At these days, diet was applied on cancer treatments.
During renaissance, Andreas Vesalius (a Dutch anatomist) as taking the breast with a surgical operation and controling blood loss, lead the way of modern surgical treatments. Branding method was no longer in use. It was Dr. Le Dran who found out that breast cancer was not just partial and could jump to armpits and lymph glands. This was a revolution. It changed the beliefs about breast cancer totally. So the need of a medical treatment following the surgical treatment was found out.
But finding these all out doesn’t mean that the primitif and superstitious methods were easily abandoned. People hardly change their curing cultures and beliefs.
In 1800’s, after being cancer, the possibility of living ten years onwards was only 12%. In 1930 and 1950’s there had been remarkable changes in therapy. Clinic methods were improved and cancer’s states started being observed.
Cancer, who is this century’s most actual and important problem, as well as being physical, is also a psychological and social problem as it remind us of fear, hopelessness, guilt, being abandoned and death. Beyond being a serious and chronic disease, cancer contains undefiniteness and reminds of a painful death, guiltiness, being abandoned, chaos and panic. Another disease in this state is; AIDS. Pessimist attitudes as “I’d rather die than catching cancer or AIDS” were seen in researchs made with not only patients but doctors and nurses. The way it’s taken as an emotional destruction, cancer causes a crisis on people’s psychological balance. Crisis is a period starting from healthy life to accordance of the disease and death threat. It takes time to accept the truth and handle it. I met a woman who was cancer and stayed in a state called “fake death” just because she didn’t want to accept the truth. After being diagnosed as cancer, she slept without eating or drinking for 6 months. In this “fake death” state. After accepting the truth, she started struggling against cancer and turned back to her normal life.
In 1950’s, American doctors never told their patients the diagnosis if they were cancer. Cancer was a secret catastrophe at these years.
In 1975 with an amazing invention, the mystery of cancer was solved. The researchers of the University of California found out that the normal cells became anormal by some reasons. Until that day it was unknown what caused cancer and how it occured. Genes who made cancer were discovered. It was found out that at least twelve genes could cause such an anormal enlargement.
There have been a lot of progresses. Today it’s possible to detect directly the cancered cell and even its treatment but still it is not found how to prevent cancer.
That’s why I think it’s important to share my cancer experience. In my opinion cancer is an individual disease. Everone has their own cancer. Because cancer occurs by different reasons and results for every person. Cancer can not be annihilated with a massive treatment method. It is necessary to build a strong relation between your psychology, lifestyle and beliefs.
Cancer is not just genetic, just phychologic or physical; maybe it’s the sum of all of them. Genetic tests are made in America. The permission documents of these tests take pages. Your sister’s and mother’s blood samples are examined in this test with yours. But they want you to take some risks on the papers you sign before being tested. If it appears from the genes that you are going to be cancer, they want to ablate your breast. My sister didn’t let it happen as she has every right in this respect!
Family story is also an important risk factor on breast cancer development. A gene who is detected at young age and causes tendancy to breast and ovary cancer is (BRCA1) mutation. This gene takes place in chromosome 17q 12-21. Recently by these genetic tests %85 people who tend to be breast cancer during their lives. Environmental factors are important as well. For instance; women in Japan have less tendancy to cancer than the Japan women immigrants in America, who are on the same level with American women in second generation. Eating habbits and environmental conditions are effective factors.
Don’t fear the cancer but fear the fear itself!
You can get over anything with courage and joy of life.
Did you ever feel as if a truck hit you when you were told you were diagnosed with cancer? Or they hided it from you, you learned it by chance; first few minutes life turns upside down. You feel like a laundry in a washing machine. Up and down, continuously. Shock! Fear! Guiltiness! Anger! Dazedness! All these reactions are universal. Every cancer patient’s first attitudes.