What is Cancer? 10 Facts

Someone you know has battled cancer. Maybe you are fighting it yourself. This terrible disease is wide-spread and affects millions of families all over the world. But what exactly is cancer?

  1. ‘Cancer’ is the Latin word for ‘crab’. When doctors first discovered the disease, they noted that the abnormal cells resemble a crab and that is why we call it ‘cancer’ today (roche.com).
  2. When someone has cancer, abnormal cells in their body are growing and spreading. Any area of the body can be affected (dosomething.org).
  3. Cancer is triggered by changes to DNA inside a cell. The DNA within a cell has a list of instructions that informs the cell what to do. Errors in these instructions can cause the cell to become cancerous (mayoclinic.org)
  4. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death across the planet. Experts think that by 2040, there will be 27.5 million new cases of cancer each year worldwide (cancerresearchuk.org).
  5. In 2019, around 1.8 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in America (seer.cancer.gov).
  6. Heart disease is the number one killer in America and cancer is the second (dosomething.org).
  7. Cancer treatments and cancer itself has uncomfortable side effects. Although it varies, some side effects include: anemia, appetite loss, bleeding/bruising, digestive issues, delirium, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, hair loss, flu-like symptoms, memory/concentration problems, and sleep issues (cancer.gov).
  8. The risk of getting cancer increases with age. Although, anyone can develop cancer at any point in their life. Around 77% of cancer cases are diagnosed in people who are 55-years or older (dosomething.org).
  9. Oncology is defined as a branch of medicine devoted to identifying, treating, and researching cancer. A physician who works in the field of medicine is an oncologist (cancercenter.com).
  10. Cancer comes in many forms; there are over 200 types and subtypes of the disease (roche.com).

Our knowledge of cancer and how it affects individuals is improving. This gives us hope that we will find a cure! In 2019, there were several exciting breakthroughs, and you can read our blog about them here. When you donate to Nancy Valenkamph Foundation, your generous gift supports research for the cure. To donate today, you can click here. For more information, feel free to call: 219-477-9826 or email info@nancyvalenkamphcancerfoundation.com

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