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Cancer Prevention Awareness Month

February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. Cancer prevention is critical to lower the chance of getting cancer. In addition to the physical problems and emotional distress caused by cancer, the high costs of care are also a burden to patients, their families, and to the public. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer lowered. Hopefully, this will reduce the burden of cancer and lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

Risk Factors for Cancer: Cancer risk factors include exposure to chemicals or other substances, as well as certain behaviors. They also include things people cannot control, like age and family history. A family history of certain cancers can be a sign of possible inherited cancer syndrome. To learn more, click HERE.

The Genetics of Cancer: Cancer is a genetic disease - meaning, cancer is caused by certain changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide. Genetic changes that promote cancer can be inherited from our parents if the changes are present in germ cells, which are the reproductive cells of the body (eggs and sperm). Such changes, called germline changes, are found in every cell of the offspring. To learn more, click HERE.

The statistics are alarming:

  • In 2018, an estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States and over 600,000 people died from the disease.

  • Cancer mortality is higher among men than women.

  • Approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes.

  • In 2017, over 15,000 children and adolescents ages 0-19 were diagnosed with cancer and over 1,700 died of the disease.

For more information and statistics, click HERE.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

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