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PSY375 Health And Wellbeing Question:  Research a national health priority area that and present an argument with supporting literature that this is a valid and credible health priority for a specific country or region. You need to justify why this has been classified as a health priority area and argue a case for being an area of focus for health promotion. Your essay should address the following requirements:  Define the health priority and state why it is a priority. Include information on what it is and whom it affects. In your priority areas, show evidence of credible and current research data to illustrate that this is a valid argument. Which specific target groups are impacted e.g. youth (12-18 years), young adults (18– 30 years) or seniors Illustrate the positioning of the priority within frameworks of wellbeing. How are fundamentals of health promotion addressing this area of concern? Discuss in relation to action and strategies of health promotion. Are there any gaps?  Answer:  Introduction: Cancer is referred to as the out of control growth of abnormal cells in the body. The disease progresses when the functioning of the body’s usual control mechanism is inhibited. Cancer is the primary cause of mortality in Australia and resulted in an estimated 3 in 10 deaths in the year 2014. It is estimated that there will be about 48000 deaths from cancer in 2018. In 2017, it was expected that there would be 47,753 deaths as a result of cancer in Australia, which means that 131 deaths were to occur daily. Approximately 17,500 people die yearly as a result of cancer which is attributed to aging and increased population growth. Although the number of deaths per 100,000 people has reduced by an estimated 24%, the majority of Australians continue to be diagnosed with the disease (Jemal, Parkin, & Bray, 2017). The five most common cancers that makeup 60% of all cancer cases in Australia include lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, and colorectal cancer. In 2012, lung cancer was the leading cause of mortality (8.137), bowel cancer was the second (3.980), followed by prostate cancer (3.079), breast cancer (2819) and pancreatic cancer (3,980). The cost of cancer treatment is costly and was estimated to cause more than $ 4.5 billion and in 2006 to 2011 cancer research cost about $1.77 billion (Torre et al., 2012). In the year 1984 to 1988, the five-year relative survival rate grew from 48% to 68% in the year 2009 to 2013. People residing in Australia have a high survival rate compared to those living in other areas. In the year 2008 to 2012, the age-standardized incidence rate for all the types of cancer was higher (484 per 100000) for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians compared to the non-indigenous Australians (439 per 100000). Individuals with a low socioeconomic status had a high age-standardized incidence rate than the ones with high socioeconomic status (McGuire, 2016). The target group is the seniors (60 plus)  Australians since they are the most affected with cancer, in 2013, there were 64% and 74.6% new cancer cases in older women and men respectively.  In the same year, the standardized age incidence was 416 cases per 10000 women and 562 cases per 100000 men (Jemal, Parkin & Bray, 2017). This is attributed to the fact that body cells can be damaged with time. The damage can be intense as a person advances in age leading to cancer.  Cancer has the potential of interfering with an individual’s Overall wellbeing. For instance, the individual wellbeing of a cancer patient is affected by the pain and suffering they go through. The inability to work while undergoing cancer treatment also makes the patients lose their job. As a result, their financial wellbeing is affected due to the high costs of cancer treatment. Cancer also affects the family wellbeing due to the economic challenges they face while supporting their patient as well as seeing them go through pain and suffering. The community wellbeing is affected due to decreased productivity of the cancer patients. The societal wellbeing is affected by the increased stigma of a cancer patient or survivor. The understanding of this frameworks in relation to cancer can help healthcare professionals and researchers to come up with effective interventions (Knight  & McNaught, 2011).  Key Debates And Issues Surrounding Cancer In Australia Although Australia has a high cancer incidence, there are decreased cases of mortality mainly attributed to increased access to high-quality care and increased utilization of cancer screening services and medications. Despite the fact Australia has invested hugely on cancer medications, numerous studies have indicated that more should be done to increase access to the medicines. The increase in the cost of the treatment of cancer is a significant challenge in Australia especially with the invention of expensive targeted therapies for different types of cancers. So far, the Pharmaceutical Benefits has managed to fund new cancer drugs. However, this takes quite a long time (Vogler & Vitry, 2016). There has been inequity in the access to services such as cancer therapy. This is attributed to increased cultural diversity in Australia. Different isolated communities in Australia face different challenges in accessing cancer care and diagnosis. This problem is currently being addressed with the use of telemedicine and the use of fly-in fly-out strategy to ensure that regional centers have specialist experts. The Australian federal government has initiated plans to construct regional cancer care facilities with linear accelerators to ensure that all patients living in the rural areas receive integrated care (McGuire, 2016). Health Determinants Of Cancer And Risk Factors For a long period, tobacco has been identified as the leading preventable cause of cancer. Tobacco is estimated to cause about 71% of lung cancer across the world. New studies indicate that cigarette smoking can also result in other cancers such as a nasal cavity, oral cavity, larynx, pancreas, kidney, stomach, liver, myeloid leukemia, and many others. Research indicates that passive smokers are also vulnerable to lung cancer (Banks et al., 2015). Secondly, there is a strong association between diet, physical activity and nutrition, and cancer vulnerability. A study Cancer Research and experts in nutrition, public health, cancer epidemiology and biology assembled by the American Institute for Cancer and World Cancer Research Fund indicate that about 25% of cancers would not occur if individuals right nutritious foods and engaged in physical activities, and obesity was prevented, while other risk factors remain constant (Ding et al., 2016). Thirdly, similar to tobacco increased alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing liver, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx and female breast cancer. Alcohol use is attributed to 5% of all the cancers cases in Australia. Although there is no sufficient data on how alcohol use causes cancer, there are possibilities that Acetaldehyde and Ethanol in alcohol present in alcohol destroys the DNA of healthy cells in the body. Alcohol may also inhibit the breakdown of estrogen. As a result, the amount of the hormone increases in the blood which then increases the risk for uterine, ovarian and breast cancers. Alcohol consumption can also decrease the ability of the body to process and utilize nutrients such as vitamin A, C, D, E as well as carotenoids and Folate. It can also result in high weight gain which increases an individual’s vulnerability to cancer. Therefore, people are advised to limit the consumption of alcohol (Bagnardi et al., 2015). Fourthly, about 2% to 11% of cancer cases are attributed to occupational exposures. The most common carcinogens in the workplace include vinyl chloride and benzene, industrial processes and radiation. Specific occupational exposure is known to cause certain types of cancer. For instance, mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos (Rubin et al., 2015). Finally, sun exposure is also a cause of cancer approximately 90% of melanoma cases are as a result of increased sun exposure. Individuals with a high level of education register low cancer cases because they are knowledgeable of how to live healthy lives. People with low socioeconomic status are more exposed to cancer compared with those with high socioeconomic status. This is because the rich have access to good and services that improve their health. The socially excluded individuals are more likely to develop cancer due to lack of access to health care services and good nutritious foods as well as health education (Ruiz & Hernández, 2014). Health Promotion Actions And Strategies Enormous efforts have been put in promoting the health of the people living in Australia. Firstly, there has been the existence of a cancer control policy for about 20 years. In 1996, cancer control was introduced as a national health priority with the incorporation of cancer control into the national strategic direction. The National Service Improvement Framework for cancer was introduced in 2005 including prominent policy priorities in Australia. However, more policies that improve access to the cancer drugs should be introduced to ensure that people from all the social classes can get the drugs (Rubin et al., 2015). Secondly, supportive environments have been created for the cancer patients and the people living in Australia. For instance, there are cancer support organizations such as cancer Australia that ensure that individuals affected by cancer acquire quality support and that they support each other.  The cancer council also provides resources and support to cancer patients and survivors to ensure that they can attend to and return to work. People have also received health education regarding the risk factors such as smoking. People have also been advised to engage in sports and other physical activities to reduce obesity cases. However, much can be done regarding increasing health education to ensure that people are more aware of the consequences of their health choices Thirdly, community actions have been strengthened by engaging the people living in Australia in decision making and the planning and implementation of strategies. Community members have also been empowered and given a chance to make their health choices (World Health Organization, 2016). Fourthly, the community has also been helped in developing personal skills by ensuring that the people are well informed about chronic illnesses such as cancer so that they can be able to cope in the event they develop the disease.  Lastly, there has been the reorientation of health services by collaboration between health professionals, individuals, and the community groups to ensure that the health care system provides quality health care to the people (Inoue-Choi, Lazovich, Prizment & Robien, 2013). In conclusion, a lot of progress has been made in the fight against cancer in Australia. Although mortality rates from the disease have decreased, the mortality rates continue to increase. This indicates that much has to be done regarding ensuring that people live healthy lives through health education and that the prevention of disease should also be prioritized.   References: Bagnardi, V., Rota, M., Botteri, E., Tramacere, I., Islami, F., Fedirko, V., … & Pelucchi, C. (2015). Alcohol consumption and site-specific cancer risk: a comprehensive dose–response meta-analysis. British journal of cancer, 112(3), 580. Banks, E., Joshy, G., Weber, M. F., Liu, B., Grenfell, R., Egger, S., … & Beral, V. (2015). Tobacco smoking and all-cause mortality in a large Australian cohort study: findings from a mature epidemic with current low smoking prevalence. BMC medicine, 13(1), 38. Ding, D., Lawson, K. D., Kolbe-Alexander, T. L., Finkelstein, E. A., Katzmarzyk, P. T., Van Mechelen, W., … & Lancet Physical Activity Series 2 Executive Committee. (2016). The economic burden of physical inactivity: a global analysis of major non-communicable diseases. The Lancet, 388(10051), 1311-1324. Inoue-Choi, M., Lazovich, D., Prizment, A. E., & Robien, K. (2013). Adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research recommendations for cancer prevention is associated with better health-related quality of life among elderly female cancer survivors. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 31(14), 1758. Jemal, A., Parkin, D. M., & Bray, F. (2017). Patterns of Cancer Incidence, Mortality, and Survival. Oxford Scholarship Online. doi:10.1093/oso/9780190238667.003.0008 Knight, A., & McNaught, A. (Eds.). (2011). Understanding wellbeing: An introduction for students and practitioners of health and social care. Lantern. McGuire, S. (2016). World cancer report 2014. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, international agency for research on cancer, WHO Press, 2015. Rubin, G., Berendsen, A., Crawford, S. M., Dommett, R., Earle, C., Emery, J., … & Hamilton, W. (2015). The expanding role of primary care in cancer control. The Lancet Oncology, 16(12), 1231-1272. Ruiz, R. B., & Hernández, P. S. (2014). Diet and cancer: risk factors and epidemiological evidence. Maturitas, 77(3), 202-208. Torre, L. A., Bray, F., Siegel, R. L., Ferlay, J., Lortet?Tieulent, J., & Jemal, A. (2015). Global cancer statistics, 2012. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 65(2), 87-108. Vogler, S., & Vitry, A. (2016). Cancer drugs in 16 European countries, Australia, and New Zealand: a cross-country price comparison study. The Lancet Oncology, 17(1), 39-47. World Health Organization. (2016). Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Geneva: WHO, 1986. Google Scholar.

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