Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Donna Jimenez
Last updated: September 8, 2019
A contemporary issue is defined as a matter of interest or current affair that is often addressed due to its relevance. (Reference, 2017) Within the care sector, there are many current and ongoing issues that impact its service users.
This includes problems like teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, and abuse, Cancer research, Euthanasia/suicide and ageism, perceptions and attitudes etc. This essay will be looking at Cancer a current and ongoing topic which is a great concern to the UK. This essay will evaluate how this contemporary issue impacts on the service user, examine current and proposed legislation and practice and take the issue up to government level. Cancer cells are formed when the body’s cells become unusually flexible and divided. Cancer is transmitted due to genetic disorders and primarily spreads through to the blood, colon and, the lungs.
(Cancer Research Campaign, 2008) The basic unit of life is known as a Cell and all living things contain cells. Every healthy human cell has to divide and most cells in the body tarry and cohere. Cancer cells, however, begin to reproduce, divide, and grow without the aid of something. It moves to the rest of the body that causes the cells to move freely through the bloodstream and thus emerges inside the body through tumours. This process is called “metastasis”. (NHS, 2016) Cancer is not only a deadly disease but also a serious social problem and it is costly in human and financial terms. More than 200 different types of cancer are present and statistics show that one in two people in the UK is more likely to get cancer during their lifetime and one in four deaths causes cancer.
(Cancer Research Campaign, 2008). Research plays an important role in cancer discoveries and for progress to be made to ensure that most cancer patients survive the battle with this disease, it is necessary that the Cancer Research community is sustained. The majority of cancer researchers in the United Kingdom came from Europe, but after the UK voted itself out of the European Union, many welfare problems arose, leaving uncertainties about future collaborations and loss of funds. This is an issue as this means these professionals once their EU membership runs out, they will be forced to leave the UK, which means that there will be vacant laboratory tables, making it more difficult to investigate and discover – drugs and medicines for the benefit of cancer patients. (NHS, 2016) Cancer is a matter in the first instance because according to researchers it is ranked as the second most frequent cause of death in the United Kingdom. Every year, millions of people are diagnosed with cancer in the United Kingdom, and half of these service users mostly die from this fatal illness.
While improvements and research are conducted, with treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation performed on Cancer patients, statistics show that Cancer is rapidly becoming the number one deadly disease in the United Kingdom and continues to be a major problem of health in the care sector. (Xiaomei and Herbert, 2007) Cancer is a serious disease that affects every aspect of life. The greatest misconception about cancer is that it is often associated with death and suffering.
As most diseases are deadly and their disadvantages outweigh their advantages, cancer despite it being a fatal illness has a positivity to it. (Cancer Research, 2008) The advantage of Cancer to its service user is that is has a cure and can be cured and does not always result in death. According to researchers, 20 therapies have been developed against cancer and these treatments can reverse cancer in common cases by safely targeting and removing microbes in cancer cells. For these cancer-prone patients, this means they can go back to work and live life normally as they had done before.
They deem it as life-giving them a second chance and live it to the fullest with their families and loved ones. Amongst these few survivors with the hope and guarantee of cancer, not relapsing use their experience to become cancer activists, raise funds to support patients or increase awareness about cancer, set up Cancer charities and Campaigns to help patients struggling and encourage them to fight and stay strong regardless. (Adam, R. 2009) Furthermore, a five-year study has recently shown that with Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) it is guaranteed 98% cure rate for people suffering from Prostate Cancer. The findings showed a total of 91 patients cured after receiving treatment with only a patient experiencing the cancer relapse.
Despite the fact there are side effects of these treatments that include long-term urinary and rectal complications, this therapy saves patients and helps to preserve life by reducing the mortality rate from cancer. (Scott, M.1998) Another positivity to be considered according to Sikora (1999), is that although cancer is termed as a fatal illness, due to its frequent talk, many charities and organizations have been set up to help service users and their families remove this difficult ordeal. Cancer patients do not need to fight the disease alone these days, as a result, they tend to not stress too much and are able to live much longer. Regardless of Brexit and its effect on the care sector, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced plans to recruit more cancer specialists where there is a deficiency to accelerate the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. (Mirror 2017) A lot of research goes into Cancer and this means a lot of money has to be spent. With the 2008 recession taking place, big charities that helped sustain and support researchers pertaining to Cancer were all hit hard, as a consequence most funding’s had to be withdrawn and reduced. This affects the service user negatively as lack of research means lack of findings which results in new drugs not being discovered.
A lot of tumours grow daily and without constant research, for new discoveries to be made Cancer patients will be at risk. (Quizlet, 1990) Cancer does not only affect adults but children as well. The government needs to create awareness as most people have the perception is affected and develops in adults only. Over the past few years, the death rate in children with cancer has reduced drastically with numbers falling from three-quarters of children dying to more than three-quarters of children with cancer surviving today.
However, high-grade Astrocytoma, a type of a brain tumour kills more than 80% of young patients. This is a huge loss but most people or even higher authorities are unaware of its harshness. Young people with cancer suffer the most when undergoing treatment as most of the treatments given are toxic, unbearable and unpleasant.
This gives them so much pain causing more harm than good. (Doel and Marsh, 2005) For a country to run successfully, it is essential for laws to be enacted. These laws are important as it helps the country run in order. Legislations are laws put in place by the government to instil orderliness. Cancer legislations protect people with cancer from being discriminated against. (Merriam, 2017). The Equality Act 2010, protects people with cancer in England. The Act legally safeguards patients from being discriminated at their workplaces.
The Equality Act is implemented effectively as the Act ensures it protects Cancer patients who have, or has had and even has been successfully treated for their cancer. It continues to protect people with or without cancer regardless. (Macmillan, 2017). Although the law does not meet all the needs of service users, it has made new provisions to prevent discrimination based on disability since cancer patients are automatically considered disabled once diagnosed. The Equality Act has set limits on the medical questions that are usually required during the hiring process to help patients who apply for work feel comfortable. The law covers all aspects of the work, including the recruitment process, terms, conditions and benefits. It also covers unfair treatment such as dismissal and victimization. However, what it does not allow are reasonable adjustments to be claimed for caring responsibilities, although other legislations provide this right.
Another legislation that protects Cancer patients in the United Kingdom is the Cancer Act 1939. The Cancer Act 1939 is designed to protect Cancer patients and their family from the excessive advertisement from any source. The Act prevents pharmaceutical companies and other medical professionals from selling and promoting any latest Cancer drug treatments which are assumed to magically cure tumours.
It helps protects Cancer patients, their families and friends as it helps them save money and not spend it on just any drug due to it being advertised. (Trevithick, P. 2015) While Legislations such as the Equality Act and Cancer Act 1939 have been implemented it does not really cover children affected by Cancer.
There are a lot more non-profitable charities helping out with children battling cancer than the government. The race for Children Act states that there are almost 900 drugs for the treatment of adult cancer but only a handful of children dealing with Cancer. The race for Children Act an update of the Paediatric Research Equity Act (PREA), urges the government to help develop drugs for children with Cancer and not for adults suffering from Cancer only. The Act is not being implemented effectively and cannot meet all the needs of the service user as it does not receive enough support and funds from the government.
(Webb, S. 2000) The government should look and pay more attention to child Cancer Research and provide necessary funds needed for research to discover new drugs for their treatment. There are also few laws that protect children with Cancer as research showed more than one in three (35%) parents complained of their children suffering from cancer experienced bullying from peers due to Cancer diagnosis and treatment. A charitable organization that currently works with the Department of Education alongside hospitals and schools has stated that they are planning to develop new guidelines for children and young people with cancer in education as many of them have not yet been established. Children diagnosed with cancer receive treatment immediately and as a result, do not have time to plan and make decisions. (NHS, 2016). There isn’t enough time for them to schedule going to school, meeting deadlines, revising for exams and receiving treatment alongside.
The government should pass laws that would help fund these children receiving treatments in hospitals and ensure the laws enacted are implemented effectively and meet all the needs of these patients. Although local authorities in England have established recoupment (funding’s for patients in hospital schooling) it is not fully in action as changes and its establishment have been proposed for the future. There isn’t enough time for service users as most children die of Cancer without being able to live life to the fullest. Authorities should ensure legislations are passed without delay.
(Macmillan, 2017) Cancer is a deadly disease that causes untimely death, severe heartache, and pain to both the patient and their families. It has its positive and negative impact on the negative outweighing the positive. Cancer is greatly feared and considering how much funds, energy and research goes into it still remains fatal.
Cancer does have a cure and can be cured considering its severity. Overall the UK tries its best to ensure patients have the best treatment and have also put in place legislation to protect these patients. With laws such as the Cancer Act 1939 and the Disability Discrimination Act also known as the Equality Act 2010 in place. The UK strives to end this stressful war with Cancer and put service users at best interest of heart whilst they ensure the care practice delivers its best at the centre of Cancer Care.