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A Guide to
Understanding
Cancer
What is Cancer?
Reference 1
• Group of more than 100 related genetic diseases
• Can start almost anywhere in the body when abnormal cells
undergo uncontrolled cell division due to changes in their DNA
• Can form tumors that may invade local tissues and spread to
other parts of the body
How Does Cancer Start?
How Cancer Spreads
Reference 2
• Malignant tumors will invade local tissues and
spread to other parts of the body; benign tumors
will not
• The spread of cancer cells to other places in the
body is called metastasis
• Cancer cells can travel through blood or lymph to
other parts of the body to form new tumors
How Common Is Cancer?
• About 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with
cancer during their lifetime, although the rates are higher for
men.
• It is estimated that there will be more than 1.5
million
new cancer diagnoses and more than 589,000 deaths from
some form of cancer in the United States this year.
• It is expected that new cancer cases will rise from 14
million in 2012 to 22 million within two decades.
Major Categories of Cancer
• Carcinoma
• Sarcoma
• Leukemia
• Lymphoma
• Melanoma
Reference 5
Causes of Cancer
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Risk of cancer increases with age
Lifestyle
Alcohol, tobacco, obesity
Carcinogens in air, water, food, materials
Certain viruses, bacteria, and other parasites
Radiation
Sunlight
Genetics and family history
*Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer and death from
cancer
Signs and Symptoms
Seven warning signs of cancer:
C: Change in bowel or bladder habits
A: A sore that does not heal
U: Unusual bleeding or discharge
T: Thickening or lump in the breasts or elsewhere
I: Indigestion of difficulty in swallowing
O: Obvious change in a wart or a mole
N: Nagging cough or hoarseness
* Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you
have cancer
When To See a Doctor
Reference 11
• If symptoms persist or are severe, see a
doctor
• No signs and symptoms should be
ignored or overlooked
• Treatment works best when cancer is
found early
• It is important to see a doctor
periodically as cancer can be found even
without symptoms
• Preventative checkups are a great idea
Prevention
• Around 1/3 of cancer cases are
preventable
• Do not smoke or use other
tobacco products
• Drink alcohol in moderation
• Keep a healthy diet
• Maintain an ideal weight
• Exercise
• Minimize exposure to sun and
wear sunblock
Reference 12
Cancer Treatment
•
•
•
•
•
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Surgery
Radiation therapy
Chemotherapy
Stem cell transplant
Immunotherapy
Hormone therapy
Reference 13
Treatment Side Effects
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•
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•
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Reaction to cancer treatment varies from person to person
Anemia
Appetite/ weight loss
Bleeding and bruising
Urinary problems
Pain
Nausea and vomiting
Hair loss
Fatigue
Edema
Others
Reference 14
Reference 4
Reference 4
Reference 4
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Questions?
References
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Gallagher, James. "Cancer Discovery Offers Hope of Tackling Spread of Disease." Chill4us Careers.
BBC News, 15 Aug. 2011. Web. 20 May 2015.
"Can Cancer Cells Spread from One Person to Another?" Ask an Expert
(ABC Science). ABC Science, 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 20 May 2015.
"Cancer." WHO. N.p., Feb. 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
Stanford, Janet L. Page 10-12. Cancer in Utah. Salt Lake City: Utah Cancer Registry, 1996. N. pag.
Print.
"What Is Cancer?" National Cancer Institute. N.p., 9 Feb. 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
“Cancer Statistics" National Cancer Institute. N.p., 9 Feb. 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
“Types of Treatment" National Cancer Institute. N.p., 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
“Side Effects" National Cancer Institute. N.p., 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
“Risk Factors of Cancer" National Cancer Institute. N.p., 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
"Cancer Prevention." WHO. N.p., 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
“Symptoms" National Cancer Institute. N.p., 5 Mar. 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
Chen, Suephy. "It’s Melanoma Awareness Monday: Reduce Your Risk."Emory Healthcare. N.p., 4
May 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.
"Here’s Why Radiation and Chemotherapy Should Not Be The Only Two Approved Treatments For
Cancer." CollectiveEvolution RSS. N.p., 29 Mar. 2014. Web. 22 May 2015.
"Cookeville Regional Medical Center." CRMC Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2015.