What you need to know about Cancer?
Cancer is such a prevalent disease in our society. It’s one of those things that we all hear about but unless we’ve experienced first hand, whether it be ourselves or a close friend or family member, we really don’t know much about it. Most people when they hear the word “cancer” they automatically think the worst and understandably so. But developing more knowledge of the disease and learning some of the facts about it can better equip you mentally and lead you to learn about the steps you can take to begin waging the war against it if you ever have to…but I pray that you do not.
As promised last week, I wanted to make sure I shared as much information as possible with you guys when it comes to this awful diagnosis. Last week my husband and I shared our personal experience/story, but this week I wanted to focus more on the facts of cancer and make sure you all understand what it actually is or means to have cancer. Again, cancer is one of those diseases we hear about but we more than likely don’t know what it technically is. Here are a few things I feel you need to know about cancer.
Cancer: What is it actually?
The definition of cancer is, it’s the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. According to cancercenter.com, cancer occurs when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working, then old cells grow out of control instead of dying, which leads to the formation of a mass of tissue, which we know as a tumor.
Who gets cancer?
Unfortunately, cancer does not discriminate. Everyone is at risk, men, women, children, and senior citizens. In the United States, 80% of all cancers are diagnosed in people 55 years of age or older, while childhood cancer accounts for 1% of new cancer diagnoses.
About 67% of Americans diagnosed with cancer survive five or more years after their diagnoses.
In 2016 there were an estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors in the U.S. and this number is expected to increase to 20.3 million by 2026.
The most common cancers diagnosed in men are prostate, lung, and colorectal. For women, it’s breast, lung, and colorectal.
About 1.8 million new cancer cases are estimated to be diagnosed in 2020.
Just like anything else, people have their fair share of misconceptions about cancer. If you ask me, I think the problem with these misunderstandings is that it’s a disease that we hear about so frequently that people don’t really take the time to research what’s really going on. We seem to just hear about it, watch it play out in the lives of other people and depending on what happens with them, we come up with our own assumptions about it, what actually happens to the body, etc. Unfortunately, we hardly stop to research the terminology we hear whizzing around our heads, which in turn, causes a lot of false information to be spread.
Here are two of the biggest myths you may have heard:
Myth #1: Cancer is an automatic death sentence – While this may have been closer to the truth 20-30 years ago, today the likelihood of someone dying of cancer here in America has steadily decreased since the 90s.
Myth #2: If someone in your family has cancer, you’re more likely to get cancer too – This isn’t necessarily true. Only 5 to 10 percent of cancers are inherited from family genes. 90 to 95 percent of cancers are caused by mutations that happen during a person’s lifetime.
I hope this helps clear a few things up in terms of what cancer actually is, along with the few facts and statistical information we’ve given. If you don’t take anything else away from this post, remember this: It is not a death sentence and you can be proactive in preventing it.
American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts & Figures 2020.” Click here
National Cancer Institute. “Common Cancer Myths and Misconceptions.”Click here