September is the nationally designated awareness month for several types of cancer and October is breast cancer awareness month. I’m going to bet that most, if not all, readers of this blog have been touched by cancer either personally or through a loved one. Cancer is the general term given to more than 100 individual diseases that are caused by abnormal cell growth and mutation in localized parts of the body. Here’s some information about cancer in Missouri that was collected over the past year.
With more than 200,000 unique cases, nearly 34 out of every 1,000 Missourians were diagnosed in a hospital with cancer in 2013.
Among all Missouri cancer patients in 2013, more than one in four were diagnosed with breast cancer.
79 Missouri counties fall in the national “Cancer Belt”— spatially-clustered counties with excess rates of age-adjusted cancer mortality.
41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.
Between 1992 and 2010, the rate of new cancer cases in the U.S. fell by 10 percent and the rate of cancer deaths decreased by 20 percent.
The top three types of new cancer diagnosed in the U.S. are prostate, breast and lung/bronchus cancer.
Lifestyle choices can greatly reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer include eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, protecting your skin from the sun and other sources of ultraviolet rays such as tanning beds, practicing safe sex and seeking routine preventive and maintenance care from your doctor.
It also is important to be screened at the recommended intervals for certain types of cancer such as breast, cervical and prostate cancer to ensure early detection and improve the likelihood of survival. Being vaccinated against Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus, or HPV, also greatly reduces the risk of being diagnosed with certain types of cancer.