Illness and Disease Management across the Lifespan essay


Chronic illness of interest – Cancer

The United States health department in the website Healthy Peoplelists cancer as one of the topics under chronic disease prevalence(, 2016). This paper focuses on cancer, becauseunlike the other listed illnesses, it is more common among theAmerican population. Cancer alongside other diseases such ascardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, Asthma, and ChronicObstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) contribute significantly todeaths yearly. Being a chronic illness means that the patients cannotheal completely, but doctors can control it so that the patients leada healthier and longer life. Besides the technological and medicaladvancements in the field of cancer treatment and management,specialists have come up with different interventions, such ascounseling therapies, to help the patients. Therefore, the HealthyPeople aims to help the patients by cultivating all possible remediesand treatment. Moreover, besides treatment, there has occurred aparadigm shift in the management of cancer as a chronic disease. Themotivation of this shift is the need to educate people about healthylifestyles to avoid developing the disease in the first place.Through the office of the Disease Prevention and Health Promotion,monitoring of cancer as a chronic disease is set to help theimprovement of management strategies.

Morbidity and comorbidity of the disease

Accordingto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), the numberof people who have had cancer in America stands at an alarming 20.3million (, 2016). The percentage of American adults, that is,people above 18 years old, who have suffered from the disease, standsat 8.5%. Among the leading forms of cancer, include lung, breast, andstomach, prostate and colorectal cancers. According to the WorldHealth Organization, some of the most important risk factors for thedisease are smoking, lack of adequate physical activity, bad drinkinghabits and unhealthy diets (, 2016). The global healthmonitoring organization identifies America, alongside Europe, ashaving the highest incidence rates on the global scale. While bettereconomic situations are indicative of better health levels, the WorldHealth Organization’s statistics indicate that the cancer rates forall cancers combined rose with increasing levels of GDP and income.

Thetopic of the comorbidity of cancer has attracted a lot of research.Given that the disease is wide in medical and health context, manyacademic articles have focused on the prevalence and severity ascommonly measured by cumulative illness. Wedding et al. (2016) saythat like other diseases, the comorbidity of cancer increases innumber and severity with increasing age. According to the findings oftheir study, about 76% of the elderly cancer patients, aged above 65years, reported cancer comorbidity. About half of the younger cancerpatients suffer cancer alongside other diseases. Given the findingsof this study, which reflect those in other literature, cancerpatients suffer severe comorbidity as they age. The most commoncomorbidity is, however, vascular disorders (Wedding et al., 2016).Reflecting the findings of this study, Sogaard et al. (2013) saidthat there are low survival rates among the cancer patients withcomorbidity. While the survival rates remain poor, they havesignificantly improved over the past decade, owing to the developmentof better treatment and management techniques.


Cancer, as a chronic disease, has many impacts on the nation. Theseimpacts cover the social, economic and familiar aspects of thesociety. Significantly, cancer has led to the development of newlifestyles, whose objectives are reducing its impact by claiming thelives of people within the community (Wooflock, 2011). The fightagainst cancer has taken both a professional and private direction,with the government spearheading the fight against it. At thepersonal level, there is an increased concern over personal healthresponsibility, meaning that people are more careful with theirlifestyles regarding the foods they eat and the way they live.According to (2016), the financial costs of the diseasefor both the person and the society are alarming. The organizationestimates that the United States used about $88.7 billion in the year2011 alone in the fight against the disease. These costs include amedical cover, as well as treatments and rehabilitation. According tothe estimates of the organization cancer would claim about 580,000lives in the year 2015 alone. These statistics have dire consequencesfor the American society, such as ruining families and personallives. The deaths claim fathers, sons, daughters and relatives offamilies, who are sometimes the breadwinners of their respectivefamilies. As well, the cost for taking care of the patients who arefighting against the disease is colossal.

The morbidity of cancer has serious implications for the generalhealth of the country. Dennis (2016) says that despite the improvedmanagement of the disease in America, statistics indicate that itremains to be a complex and pervasive problem across the country.While heart diseases top the list of causes of death among chronicdiseases in the county, cancer comes in second and is on a perturbingrise. The disease mainly claims people within the middle age andelderly demographics. While research projects the diagnosis of about1.7 million new cases 2016 alone, the death estimates are at about595,000 (Dennis, 2016). This statistic means that the country spendsa lot of its national budget for disease management in the treatmentand management of cancer. While it is not wrong to increaseinvestment for cancer treatment, other aspects of national health,such as heart disease and other illnesses develop. This projectionindicates the deterioration of the national general health levels.Moreover, the persistence of the disease has direct impacts on thegeneral mental and emotional health of the Americans, given itscomplicated and severe nature in many cases.

Healthy people 2020 goals and objectives for the illness

The Healthy People 2020 focuses its goals and objectives on reducingthe occurrence of new cancer cases (, 2016). Withthis main approach, other subordinate ones are reducing the severityof the illness, the disabilities caused by the disease and mostultimately, and death cases. According to the organization,policymakers construct the efforts to help put cancer under controlwithin clinical and field research, detection of possible new casesand advancements in treatment. Given that the organization identifiesthat these areas of action contribute to the decrease in incidenceand death rates for all kinds of cancers, they have an objective ofsupporting research both technically and logistically. On theirwebsite, Healthy People 2020 says that they have the objective ofsupporting monitoring trends, mortality, and survival(, 2016). With this objective, the main outcome ofmajor concern is decreasing the burden of the disease in the UnitedStates. With a more specific objective, the organization focuses onpromoting evidence–based screening for specific kinds of cancer,which they identify as being the most deadly. These include cervical,colorectal and breast cancer. In addition, there is significant focuson invasive cancer.


Thequestionnaire is designed to aid specifically in the assessment ofthe multidimensional impact of cancer risk assessment in America.

  1. Sex:

Male ( ) Female:( )

  1. Age: &lt 18 ( ) 19-30( ) 31-40 ( )41-50 ( ) 51-60 ( ) &gt60 ( )

  2. Have you ever been tested for any king of cancer?

Yes ( ) No ( )

  1. What was your feeling about the results?

  1. Do you feel the results have an implication on your family and friends?

Yes ( ) No ( )

  1. If yes, how?

  1. Would you advise those close to you to go for cancer testing?

  2. Yes ( ) No ( )

  3. Is there a history of cancer in your family?

Yes ( ) No ( )

  1. If yes, who was involved, and how did they cope?

  1. Do you suppose your lifestyle is in line with the recommendations for cancer prevention?

Yes ( ) No ( )

  1. If yes, what does it involve?

  1. If no, do you plan to make changes?

Yes ( ) No ( )

  1. About the question 13 above, how?

  1. Do you feel that the government is doing enough to help control and manage cancer?

Yes ( ) No ( )

  1. If no, what recommendations do you have?

References (2015). National center for health statistics: Cancer.Retrieved 16 May 2016 from:

Dennis, B. (7 Jan 2016). How cancer will affect Americans in 2016 –in seven charts. Washington Post. Retrieved 15 May 2016 from: (2016). Cancer. Retrieved on 16 May 2016from: (2016). General Health Status. Retrieved 16May 2016 from:

Sogaard, M., Thomsen, R.W., Bossen, K. S. Sorensen, H. T. &ampNorgaard, M. (2013). The impact of comorbidity on cancer survival: Areview. Clinical Epidemiology. 5 (1): 3-29.

Wedding, U., Riehrig, B., Klippstein, A., Steiner, P., Schaeffer, T.,Pientka, L. &amp Hoffken, K. (2016). Comorbidity in patient withcancer: Prevalence and severity measured by cumulative illness ratingscale. Elsevier. 61(3): 269-276. (2016). Cancer mortality and morbidity. Retrieved 16May 2016 from:

Wooflock, J. M. (2016). Cancer. New York, NY: Taylor TradePublications.