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Cancer is the name given to a group of approximately 100 diseases that are the result of abnormal cell growth. Cancer is named for the type of tissue where the cells initially began to grow out of control.
Some cancers are caused by genetic mutations during conception before a baby is born. Other cancers are the result of environmental or other factors that cause cells to become abnormal, such as cigarette smoke which can damage lung cells and lead to lung cancer.
Knowing the facts and statistics for cancer can help patients and healthcare providers understand the risks and probabilities of various types of cancer.
New Cancer Numbers
In the United States, cancer is the second most common cause of death, surpassed only by heart disease. One out of every four deaths is the result of cancer.
That adds up to an expected 571,950 deaths in 2011, or more than 1,500 people every day. Nearly 1,600,000 new cases of cancer are expected to be reported this year.
This number does not include an additional 3.5 million cases of certain types of skin cancer, which are not required to be reported. It also does not include cases of carcinoma in situ, which is a pre-cancerous condition that is very likely to develop into cancer if not treated. (Wiley Online Library)
Cancer and Gender
Cancer statistics show that men are slightly more likely to develop cancer during their lifetimes than are women. In the United States, men have nearly a 1 in 2 risk of developing cancer at some point in their lives. Women have just over a 1 in 3 risk.
This means that one out of every three women will probably have some type of cancer during her life. The good news is that overall, cancer rates declined from 2003 to 2007 at a rate of just under 1 percent per year. Overall, the number of deaths caused by cancer has been decreasing since the early 1990s. (American Cancer Society)
Other cancer facts show that men and women are at higher risk for different types of cancer. These are the top 10 cancers for women from highest to lowest risk:
• Colon & rectum