SOME FACTS ABOUT CANCER – In honor of breast cancer awareness month
Cancer rates in the USA
The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that about one-quarter to one-third of the new cancer cases expected to occur in the US in 2013 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition, and thus could also be prevented.
About 77% of all cancers are diagnosed in persons 55 years of age and older.
All cancers involve the malfunction of genes that control cell growth and division. Only about 5% of all cancers are strongly hereditary, most cancers result from damage to genes occurring during one’s lifetime. Genetic damage may result from internal factors (hormones or the metabolism of nutrients within cells) or external factors (tobacco or overexposure to sunlight).
In 2013, approx 1,660,290 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the USA and approx 580,350 Americans are expected to die of cancer – almost 1,600 people per day.
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.
An estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the US during 2013; about 2,240 new cases are expected in men. Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women.
An estimated 40,030 breast cancer deaths (39,620 women, 410 men) are expected in 2013. Breast cancer ranks second as a cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer). A decrease in breast cancer death rates represents progress in earlier detection, improved treatment. Mammography can often detect breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more effective and a cure is more likely.
Recommendations for Individual Choices to reduce all types of Cancer
1. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life
2. Adopt a physically active lifestyle
3. Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.
Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Limit consumption of processed meat and red meat.
Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
Choose whole grains instead of refined-grain products.
A recent study found that dietary and lifestyle behaviors consistent with the American Cancer Society nutrition and physical activity guidelines are associated with lower mortality rates for all causes of death combined, and for cancer and cardiovascular diseases, specifically.
**ALL data taken from the American Cancer Society, “Cancer Facts & Figures 2013 Annual Report”