Unformatted text preview: Bismil 1 Farishta Bismil
At Home Assignment #2
Twelve percent of all recorded deaths worldwide are the result of some form of
cancer. Therefore, being diagnosed with cancer is an extremely emotional experience.
It is so emotional in fact that people diagnosed with is sometimes don’t want to know
they have it. Not only do the patients sometimes not want to know, but neither do the
patient’s close family and friends. And other times, the family and friends do want to
know, but they feel as if they shouldn’t tell the patient to protect them. These
preferences on the disclosure of one's diagnoses can be impacted by many variables
including education level and culture.
The article I read is about a study of cancer disclosure methods in Iran. I chose
this because I myself am from the Middle East. I was curious to know how people there
go about delivering and receiving diagnoses. There are many different options for
patients to receive their diagnoses. The most common method in the U.S. is for the
doctor to deliver the news to the patient directly. However, in Iran there are also other
methods that are considered. Sometimes patients are just given literature of brochures.
Sometimes patients are receive the news from their close family or friends, and
sometimes they are informed by other patients who have had the same diagnoses. That
is of course, if they want to be informed at all. This study shows percentages of the type
of disclosure the patients want and how their income and other variables can have an
affect of their choice.
The study found that 6.8 percent of people wished they had not received their
diagnoses, but 93.2 percent of people did want the information. Only people with lower
levels of education wished that they had not been informed. It also found that people
with lower education levels were less likely to get a second opinion compared to people
with higher ones.
They found that family members main reason for not wanting the patient to know was
because they thought it would hurt their relatives outcome.
The main outcome of the study is that both the patient and family members
generally want to be informed as much as possible when they are sick and do not want
the physicians to hold anything back. This study will help give doctors the right protocol Bismil 2 in Iran when delivering the information to their patients that they have this terrible
The ted talk I chose for part 2 of this assignment is by Paula Hammond and titled
“A New Super Weapon in the Fight Against Cancer”. Paula Hammond is the head of
MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering.
I chose this Ted Talk because I have always been curious about finding a cure
for cancer. The fact that we have found ways to cure some forms of cancer, but not
others interests me. Why is it that a cure for one can not be a cure for all?
Paula Hammond explains that cancer is an adaptive disease, almost like a virus.
She equates them to a super villain because they're good at staying alive and that
cancer comes from a genetic mutation like a some villain's powers. So she feels that the
way to stopping these cancer is to cut off these genes using a set of molecules called
siRNA. This will prevent the cancer cell from adapting.
The way they go about deploying this is by making a wrapping chemo with this
siRNA creating a nanoparticle. Then they wrap the nanoparticle in something called
hydrated polysaccharide. Paula Hammond refers to this as an invisibility cloak. It is
called this because it allows the nanoparticle to travel through the bloodstream without
being killed off by the body.
The drug works because the siRNA takes away the ability for the cancer cell to
adapt and is then destroyed by the chemotherapy. This drug has worked in animals with
a severe breast cancer.
Cancer is the third largest underlying disease killer in the world. With technology
like this advancing we are becoming closer and closer for all people to never have to
worry about this disease anymore.
While I find this video to be promising and Paula Hammond to be a true pioneer,
I did not like how she left out the logistics of this drug once it is on the market. Such as
how much does it cost? And exactly how long she thinks it will take? These are
important matters that will need to be addressed when a cure is found so it can be
available to everyone.
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- Winter '10
- Paula Hammond, At Home Assignment, of their choice, New Super Weapon