I am a mutated cancer gene inside my host, John Smith’s body. I have caused my host to develop esophageal cancer, which is a cancerous tumour that has formed in the esophagus. Doctors aren’t clear on what happened to me as a gene for this to happen. They are researching it and so far they think that there are genetic variations at 3 locations which is significantly linked to esophageal cancer, on chromosome 3, 9, and 19. It is still very unclear what happened to me.
There are certain factors that caused my mutation. My host is a 53 year old male alcoholic. Men are 3 times more likely to get my type of cancer than women. My host has been an alcoholic for quite a few years now, he was fated to develop some sort of sickness. Him drinking so much alcohol has damaged the DNA in his esophagus, which is another factor that caused my mutation.
My cancer has many effects on my host. Such as a hoarse voice, a very persistent cough, weight loss, and difficulty or pain in swallowing food. My host was very oblivious to all of the signs, so he only went to the doctor when it was too late. He finally decided to go to the doctor when he started coughing up blood.
When my host went to the doctor he found out he had stage IV esophageal cancer. Treatment to this stage of my cancer is usually given to help keep the cancer under control for as long as possible and to help with symptoms. The doctor recommended he start chemotherapy, since chemo may be given to relieve the symptoms and add to the quality of his life. This stage of my cancer is very hard to get rid of completely, so surgery to try to cure my cancer would not be a good option.
My host was devastated when he found out the news, he didn’t know what to do. He did not have any support systems either, because he didn’t have any family or friends. My host was not allowed to drink any more alcohol, seeing as it would just hurt him further. He felt very hopeless and anxiety ridden as he was supposed to start chemo in a month.
My host has now been on chemo for one month. He is still in terrible pain, but he feels that chemo is relieving him of the harshness of his symptoms, along with adding to his quality of life. The doctors have recommended some other treatments as well, such as radiation therapy. Since his cancer is already stage 4, most treatments would be pointless for him.
My host is going to continue on with chemo though. He will not be starting radiation therapy because he does not have the money for it. He is already in debt from all of the hospital bills and he has no one to support him financially. He is starting to feel like he has no options.
My host has now been on chemo for 5 months. The doctors tell him the cancer is spreading into a lot of his other organs, they say he has 6 more months to live. My host is already done everything he can, he knows that. He has no hope now, he knows the cancer will kill him sooner or later.
My host is dying. My cancer cells have almost defeated him, he has nothing left in him. He is in awful pain. He knows that any day now he could drop dead, but he tries not to think about it too much. He distracts himself with other things. My once small mutated gene cell has now almost become fully in control it seems. I have grown very quickly over a short span of time, slowly killing my host.
He lasted 9 months into chemotherapy. My cancer has now killed my host. He is no longer in pain, hopefully at peace. Doctors say he didn’t have a chance. They knew it was too late a long time ago. My host was no longer looking for life before he died, he just wanted to be free of all the pain my horrific cancer has brought him. At least he finally got his wish.
When researching esophageal cancer, to narrow down to specific things I wanted to know I asked myself questions that I could answer. Some questions I had were: What happened to the esophagus cancer cell as a gene? What are some risk factors? what caused the mutation? What are some symptoms of esophageal cancer? Are there certain stages of this cancer? What treatment is available for this cancer? And what are the survival rates?
Some digital tools I used to research my topic are a number of different websites, an online news article, and I also used a web page for information that’s designed for people to get informed about cancer and get online help from other people if they’re dealing with cancer in some way.
When investigating this topic, I tried to start off with researching the basics. As I started to learn more about esophageal cancer and how it affects people I decided to dig a little deeper into more specifics. This helped me fully understand what I was researching and writing about, so I knew what I was doing and I wasn’t confused at all.
I verified the information I got by going on a number of websites and checking that certain pieces of information were the same on different websites. If I was still unsure if something wasn’t completely true I researched the question I had more thoroughly, and I found out what was true and what wasn’t.
I cited the information I got by using the website citation machine. Before using the website, when I was still researching, I always kept the link to the websites I received information from on a document. That way after I finished researching I could go back onto websites and get all of the things I needed to cite them.
The process of completing this challenge was very informative. I learned an efficient way to cite websites, while keeping the information I got from that website organised. I also feel I did very well in completing this challenge, I was very thorough and had everything sorted out so it was easy to find when I needed it. I do think that I could have started on this project earlier, because I kept putting it off. In the end I think it turned out exceptionally well.