Cancer has become a universal threat in our day. It’s a terrible disease that takes on so many forms and affects millions of lives. It is inconceivable, the sudden onset and seemingly indiscriminate afflictive power, yet this year an estimated nearly two million new patients will be diagnosed – according to the National Cancer Institute. Cancer represents an enormous enemy that drains the precious time, energy, and financial security from our loved ones before ultimately claiming the lives of far too many – the American Cancer Society estimates over 600,000 this year.
Great strides have been made to combat this merciless enemy of humanity, but much more is to be done before cancer deaths are a thing of history. You can be a part of that noble fight with a passion for medicine and commitment to your own educational achievement. All are welcome in the crusade against this deadly disease, no matter whether you are spurred on to help others as a cancer survivor yourself or see someone else suffering. This is truly human fight.
Knowing the Facts
The first step to take in fighting cancer is to know what you are up against. Are you impassioned to serve women diagnosed with breast cancer, or children suffering from leukemia? Having a goal and understanding the common core of knowledge about this disease is a critical first step. If you intend to fight cancer in elderly men, first you must acquaint yourself with facts about prostate cancer. Understanding your interests is the first step of your journey. While certainly cancer research can be bleak, it is important to ascertain your area of focus and what you will work to become an expert in.
Personal study of the issues you hope to tackle are an important part of the process. Many of life’s greatest problems have been solved using simple and intuitive answers, but answers that present themselves as simple are rarely seen as correct though. Experts – in every field – have a tendency to dwell on the minutiae while trying to craft an encompassing answer that will change the face of our collective understanding. This is a noble pursuit, but often falls short. If you are to join the rebellion for change in cancer treatment, you will need to start at the beginning.
Seek out all the knowledge you can consume, even if you land upon a particular path quickly, it is incumbent upon you to broaden your scope of knowledge further. If you decide that your effort is best placed in support of prostate cancer treatment, you still need to know facts about colon cancer. It is critical to understand this common form – along with many others – specifically so that you may compare statistics, facts, and potential solutions. By starting with the basics, you just may be able to uncover a tiny oversight or a minute fact that will prove the fatal blow to cancer forever.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t achieve glory. Cancer treatment is not about awards and achievements. Every little victory is glorious. Even if your developing corpus of knowledge doesn’t end with cancer’s defeat, you can still make a difference in people’s lives. This is arguably more important than any theoretical knowledge you may be able to achieve. If you can make one patient just a little more comfortable while they are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, or bring forth a plan of attack that shrinks another’s tumors, then you have won the day. Small victories win the war, and these small victories affect the lives of real people who are really suffering. Whether you go on to conceptualize the next great treatment idea or sit with a patient in pain, you are the face of real, meaningful victory over and strength in the face of the great equalizing menace.
Get Your Education
The most important step toward any career is the preparation. Medicine is certainly no different – you need to have a wealth of background information in order to craft a treatment regimen for each and every patient. Furthermore, in such a high stakes field, on the job training won’t cut it. Doctors need to know that their colleagues – from support staff to superior – are well educated and understand both the challenges and potential solutions to any problem that could arise in a patient.
Education is critical, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. Medical training comes in many stripes. If you hope to engage on a personal level, helping to treat the humanity of your patients and not just the disease, then an Associate Degree in Nursing may be the right path for you. Nurses work directly with patients every day, tending to their hearts as much as their health.
It is a rewarding career that puts you into a caregiving role that may not be possible through other types of medicine. Because of this, nurses are often able to affect real change in their patients. They spend time with them making patients comfortable and can usually be found tending to any emergency situations that befall someone in their care. Nursing is a fast-paced and exhilarating career that takes a special intersection of compassion and craft.
Nurses are also versatile. They can specialize in a variety of particular veins of medicine. This opens up a world of possibilities for nurses to work in the operating room, with suffering children, or as a member of the delivery team for bringing new lives into this world. Not to mention, specializations can bring nurses appropriate compensation, as well. Many specialized nurses can expect to earn well over $100,000 a year.
Alternatively, if the hands-on aspects of medical care are not your cup of tea, you can still work to save lives through a technologist’s role. Just as important as the caregiver is the professional that runs the test to determine affliction. With a degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, you can engage in the diagnoses of those suffering. An accurate diagnosis is just as important as the actual treatment, placing you as the fact-finder on the team’s mission to combat each patient’s ailments. This is a necessary role that must be filled by intelligent and diligent individuals yearning to change lives for the better. Nothing can be more noble than this.
Diagnostic medicine is a compelling science that should excite anyone who has ever considered a career in investigation after watching a cop drama. Diagnostic science serves the same function as crime scene investigation. You will work to collect evidence of a silent and unseen killer lying within, waiting to strike a new victim each time you enter the office. While sometimes harrowing, diagnostics provide the first line of defense against cancer’s power. By providing accurate and intelligent diagnoses you take away the mystery of cancer, you rob it of the terrifying unknown that it imposes upon its victims.
No matter your reason, no matter the route you take, you can make a difference in the fight against cancer. Whether you hope to provide physical care in the form of emergency treatment or palliative care while a patient receives treatment, or seek out a more scientific engagement with the disease you can be sure that you will make a difference. Your commitment to your patients and support will make a world of difference in getting them through it while their own visions begin to crumble around them.