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Understanding Cancer Utah Cancer Action Network ucan
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Cancer is a large group of diseases (over 200) characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells.* What Is Cancer? *American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2005
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Normal Cells Vs. Cancer Cells Cancer cells: Lose control over growth and multiplication Do not self-destruct when they become worn out or damaged Crowd out healthy cells
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Growth of Cancer Cells Size of cancer cells: One million cancer cells = head of a pin One billion cancer cells = a small grape 230 = 1,073,741,824 = 1 billion cells 2-6 weeks Cancer cells reproduce every 2-6 weeks. 2-6 weeks 2-6 weeks
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Signs and Symptoms of Cancer Change in bowel habits or bladder functions Sores that do not heal Unusual bleeding or discharge Lumps or thickening of breast or other parts of the body Indigestion or difficulty swallowing Recent change in wart or mole Persistent coughing or hoarseness
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Carcinomas (cells that cover internal and external body surfaces) Types of Cancers Lung Breast Colon Bladder Prostate (Men) Leukemia (Blood Cells) Lymphomas (Lymph nodes &tissues) Sarcomas Cells in supportive tissues – bones & muscles
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What Causes Cancer? Lifestyle Environment Family History
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Lifestyle Risks Smoking Diet high fat and low in fruits and vegetables Lack of exercise Unprotected exposure to the sun, (UV) rays Obesity
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Environmental Risks Second hand smoke Air pollution Industrial pollution Chemical exposures
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Inherited Risks Less than 15% of cancers are inherited Gene mutations are linked to some inherited cancers Cancers that may be caused by inherited gene mutations are: Colon cancer Breast cancer Ovarian Prostate cancer Skin cancer
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Screening Tests and Self-exams Screening tests: Colon Breast Cervical Prostate Self-exams: Testicular Skin
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Why Screening Tests? The treatment of cancer is most successful when the cancer is detected as early as possible, often before symptoms occur.
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Colon Cancer Most colon cancers start as a polyp Removing polyps can prevent colon cancer Advanced bleeding cancer A polyp
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Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines Age of 50 and older; younger if there is a family history Yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or Yearly FOBT and sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years or Colonoscopy every 10 years Of the options above ACS prefers yearly FOBT and Sigmoidoscopy every five years
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Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. Clinical breast exams (CBE) should be part of a periodic health exam, about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
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Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Women should report any breast change promptly to their health care providers. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women for women starting in their 20s. Women at increased risk (e.g., family history, genetic tendency, past breast cancer ) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of starting mammography screening earlier, having additional tests (e.g., breast ultrasound or MRI), or having more frequent exams.
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Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Annual pap testing should begin with the onset of sexual activity or at age 18 Investigate pros & cons of new HPV vaccine Pap testing should continue less frequently at the discretion of the medical provider and patient after three or more annual tests have been normal
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Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines Men should speak to their doctor about the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening Both prostate specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal examinations (DRE) are recommended for men over 50 and who choose to undergo screening for prostate cancer
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Testicular Cancer Screening Guidelines Doctors agree that examination of a man’s testicles is an important part of a general physical exam. It is recommended that a testicular exam be conducted during routine cancer-related checkups. It is believed that it is important to make men aware of testicular cancer and that any unusual mass should be evaluated by a health care provider immediately.
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Skin Cancer The ABCD’s of melanoma (skin cancer): Asymmetry: one half is not like the other Border: the edges are jagged or irregular Color: the color is varied, tan, red, black ect Diameter: the diameter is larger than 8mm (the top of a pencil eraser A B C D
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Skin Cancer Prevention It is important to: Protect your skin with hats, long sleeves and sunscreen Do a self examination of your skin monthly Become familiar with any moles, freckles or other abnormalities on your skin Check for changes once a month. Show any suspicious or changing areas to your health care provider.
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Good News! Other Ways to Reduce the Risks of Developing Cancer…
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How Far Have We Come ? Five year survival rate: 1913 - 10% 2003 - 66% Advances in cancer research continue
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The Fight Will Continue Because…in 2007 Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Utah and the nation 7660* Utahns diagnosed 2690* Utahns will die 7 Utahns die of cancer every day *American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2007
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Avoid Smoking or Chewing Tobacco Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US Second hand smoke affects everyone
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Fruits and Vegetables Decrease Cancer Risks Cancer rates could decline by up to 20% if everyone consumed 5 fruits and vegetables a day!* Cancer fighting substances: Antioxidants Dietary fiber Carotenoids Flavenoids *American Institute for Cancer Research, 1998.
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Limit Alcohol to No More Than Men – 2 drinks per day Women - 1 drink per day
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Reduce Your Skin Exposure to the Sun Limit time outside, between 10 a.m. & 4 p.m. Wear protective clothing. Use wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. Prevent sunburns, especially for children un
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Cervical cancer is largely preventable, yet according to the American Cancer Society, an estimated
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