Whether you currently have cancer or are simply researching the subject, it is important to focus on cancer prevention and awareness tips, and to understand what cancer is.The cells in our body divide on a regular basis. They divide so that they are able to grow new cells when the old cells become worn out, and this process is a consistent one that repeats and repeats as we age. Cancer occurs when these cells divide and grow abnormally, taking over many of the normal cells in a given area. These new, abnormal cells do not die and sometimes instead spread to other parts of the body. Some cancers grow and spread very slowly, while others move more quickly, therefore different types of cancer need to be treated differently.
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Because specialists don’t yet fully understand what causes cancer in most cases, it can be extremely difficult to prevent. When diagnosed, some people feel as if they did something wrong or made a bad choice which caused their cancer, but this is not the case. Cancer cannot be prevented, and is something that almost half of all men and a third of all women get during their lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, most cancers (in 3 out of 4 people diagnosed) appear later in life, (commonly after 55 or 60,) in people of any ethnic or racial group. Although many people are diagnosed with cancer, most of these cancers are treatable. For lots of people who are diagnosed, in fact, the outlook is good. Risk factors tend to vary greatly depending on the specific type of cancer and the severity of it, which is why these are important answers to obtain from a trusted physician.
Although we are unable to fully prevent cancer, we have discovered some known risk factors for it. These items are termed risk factors because they can increase your chances of being diagnosed with cancer. Some risk factors are ones that you cannot do anything about, such as gender, age, or family health history, while others are personal choices that you can change, such as tobacco and alcohol use, diet, or unprotected exposure to UV rays. Another factor can sometimes be the environment that you live in or are exposed to. It is important to realize that although these items have been identified as risk factors, they do not definitively mean that someone will get cancer, just as avoidance of all of these things does not fully assure someone of never developing cancer.
As with many things, a key to both helping prevent and helping fight cancer is to become educated about it. The more awareness that you can obtain on the topic, the better your options are. Research on the topic can often help make someone who has been diagnosed feel better about their situation and their options. When researching, however, it is important to remember that statistics aren’t always correct. Every person is different and every cancer diagnosis is as well. Your situation is unique to you and the specialists you see will be able to evaluate your specifics best. No matter what your personal situation is, however, playing an active role in your health plan, and knowing your rights and future treatment choices can be very rewarding.