It doesn't hurt to review the facts about cancer from time to time. If a review such as this prompts someone to get a cancer screening or consider giving up smoking, then the effort is worthwhile. The consequences of developing cancer are downright nasty as cancer remains the number 2 killer in America today. Cancer affects a third of all women and a whopping half of all men based on numbers released by the American Cancer Society.
While mental illness doesn't kill at the same rate as cancer does, more Americans are afflicted with mental illness than with cancer. Still, more researchers are involved with finding cures for cancer than for mental illness.
Which cancer do you think occurs most often in the United States? Breast cancer has a high rate of occurrence and gets a lot of press coverage. But skin cancer has the highest number of victims today. Surprisingly, nearly half of all cancers diagnosed involve non-melanoma related skin cancer. According a study by the American Cancer Society, the most prevalent cancers today after skin cancer and breast cancer are:
- Prostate cancer
- Colon and rectal cancer
- Endometriosis cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Is cancer genetic or environmentally driven? While most cancers are programmed into our genetic makeup, many cancers lie under the radar and do not rear their ugly head until you expose them to factors that will set them off. For this reason, if you can avoid certain situations or behaviors that can subject your system to negative consequences, you may never know in your lifetime that you carry cells that want to go nuts.
How do cancer cells develop? A cell in the human body is programmed to do certain functions for you and then eventually die off and be replaced. But when a cell turns cancerous, it doesn't shut down properly but rather goes off and multiplies. As these bad cells multiply, they can turn into a cancerous tumor. The cells keep multiplying and it is very hard to arrest the cancer and stop this uncontrolled cell growth.
As cancer cells multiply they can then attach to other organs of the body. A new tumor can form and without treatment, cancer can infect the entire body.
There are two ways to get rid of cancer. The first is never to get it in the first place. By living properly and taking care of yourself, you can eliminate most of the risk factors for cancer. Some of the risk factors for developing cancer are smoking, lack of physical exercise, stress and exposure to harmful chemicals. If a person gets cancer, treatment options have come a long way in the last fifty years. Surgery to remove the cancerous tumor is usually an option. Surgery is generally followed by chemotherapy or radiation treatments.