Henrietta Lack Cancer

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According to the National Cancer Institute, about 40% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life, and there were approximately 13,776,251 people living with cancer in 2012. Cancer is a common disease with many types and forms. The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot shows the story of a woman with cervical cancer, and how her illness affected herself and her family. Although cancer affects a patient physically, it also has effects on the patient mentally and financially, as well as it challenges patients to change their lifestyles for the better. The diagnosis of cancer can have an enormous impact on a cancer patient mentally. A cancer diagnosis can be shocking to some patients. "After you…show more content…
When a patient is told they have a disease, they are shocked. Some patients worry that they may die, and others feel numb or confused about it. They may have a hard time realizing that their disease could be fatal. “When he asked if she was okay, her eyes welled with tears and she said, “Like I’m always telling my brothers, if you gonna go into history, you can’t do it with a hate attitude. You got to remember, times was different” (Skloot 276). This quote was talking about how Henrietta was faced with the possibility that she might die. Many of cancer patients are faced with this, which can cause them psychological stress. In the case of Henrietta Lacks and her children, it was not just the diagnosis, but the idea that her cells were stolen from…show more content…
Having cancer frequently forces patients into changing their lifestyles for the better. It is proven that making positive lifestyle changes decreases the chances that cancer will recur. "Many patients and survivors worry about cancer coming back after treatment. Evidence suggests that making positive lifestyle changes during and after cancer treatment may help prevent a recurrence or second cancer" (Healthy Living After Cancer). This can show how the fear of the recurrence of cancer can drive the former cancer patient into being healthier. Some patients may focus on more that they would have otherwise taken for granted. "She 'd pull herself out of bed, press her hands and face to the glass, and watch her children play on the lawn" (Skloot 66). Henrietta knew she would not have much time left, so she made sure to enjoy what she thought she would miss. She changed her lifestyle because she thought more about what was important to her and made sure she enjoyed herself. In Henrietta Lacks ' case, her cells helped the lives of tons of other patients, as well as the advancement in cancer research. "Her cells were part of research into the genes that cause cancer and those that suppress it; they helped develop drugs for treating herpes, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia, and Parkinson 's disease; and they 've been used to study lactose digestion, sexually transmitted diseases, appendicitis, human longevity, mosquito mating, and the negative cellular effects of working in

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