- By Michael Bartlett
Undoubtedly, cancer has become incredibly widespread over the last century. The numerous carcinogens we are regularly exposed to nowadays, either environmentally or occupationally, as well as certain aspects of the modern lifestyle, such as diet and lack of physical activity, have been significantly contributing to the skyrocketing cancer rates which burden global population today. According to the World Health Organization, the number of new cancer cases will have raised to 25 million by 2035, which is a tremendous increase compared to the 14 million malignant diagnoses registered in 2012. By contrast, due to improved medical technology and increasingly effective treatment, there has been a substantial 25% decrease in cancer death rates since 1991.
The month of November has been chosen as a time to raise awareness of lung cancer and stomach cancer, which are currently two of the primary causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Nearly 50% of people who lose their lives to malignant diseases die of lung cancer, whereas stomach cancer is responsible for over 700,000 deaths every year. In the United States, a person is diagnosed with lung cancer every 2.5 minutes and before 1940, stomach cancer was the leading cause of cancer-related death among Americans.
In November, U.S. federal health agencies and non-profit cancer organizations throughout the world will also engage in commendable endeavors to increase the visibility of carcinoid tumors and pancreatic cancer in the hope of promoting early diagnosis and raising funds to further cancer research. National Bone Marrow Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month are also celebrated in November.
According to LUNGevity Foundation, 1 in 16 Americans will develop lung cancer at some point during their lifetime. While tobacco use is by far the most common risk factor, causing approximately 22% of the deaths this disease is accountable for, up to 50% of people who come to suffer from lung cancer are former smokers, whereas 15% of lung cancer patients have never smoked a cigarette. Neither gender nor ethnicity has been found to influence the risk of lung cancer. The reason why lung cancer has such a high mortality rate refers to the time of diagnosis, which can impact survival dramatically. Since early diagnosis is unfortunately rare, only 18% of those who suffer from this malignant disease will live for 5 years or more. On the other hand, timely detection of lung cancer cam improve prognosis to a great extent - roughly 45% of people diagnosed with stage I non-small cell lung cancer, the most common subtype, reach a 5-year survival.
In addition to smoking, the presence of the following risk factors can make one considerably more susceptible to developing lung cancer:
This November, non-profit cancer organizations such as the Lung Cancer Alliance and LUNGevity Foundation will be encouraging people to spread awareness of the disease and support lung cancer research by making a donation, regardless of their budget. If you would also like to participate in Lung Cancer Awareness Month, there are many ways you can do it, such as:
Since 2010, the eleventh month of the year has been standing for National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. Every November, the community behind No Stomach For Cancer dedicates their relentless endeavors to increase the visibility of stomach cancer as the fourth most common malignant disease affecting the U.S. population, emphasizing the importance of early detection, funding research, as well as encouraging stomach cancer survivors and caregivers to share their experiences with this terrible disease.
By the end of 2017, approximately 28,000 people in the country will have received a stomach cancer diagnosis, while nearly 11,000 others will have died of this disease. The lifetime risk of developing stomach cancer is 1 in 111, being slightly higher for men, and the average age of diagnosis is 70. Smoking, infection with the H. pylori bacteria, a diet rich in salted and smoked foods, and a low intake of fruits and vegetables are some of the risk factors for stomach cancer. The symptoms of stomach cancer are rather vague - which is why the disease often goes undetected until it reaches advanced stages - and include:
If you would like to partake in National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, you can find plenty of ideas in this regard on No Stomach For Cancer's website, which you can visit by accessing the link below. Anyone is wholeheartedly invited to participate, whether they survived stomach cancer themselves, know someone who did, or just want to show their support.
Trusted Source: No Stomach For Cancer
As a relatively new term in medicine, carcinoid refers to tumors whose nature is somewhere between malignant and benign. However, since 1907, when it was coined by German physician Siegfried Oberndorfer, the term has gradually been replaced by neuroendocrine tumor. Originating in the cells of the nervous and hormonal systems, neuroendocrine tumors are slow-growing and may affect organs such as the lungs, the stomach, and the pancreas. Similarly to tissue growths which are comprised exclusively of cancerous cells, neuroendocrine tumors can spread to other regions of the body, most frequently to the liver, bones, and the lymphatic system.
Neuroendocrine tumors occur in over 12,000 Americans every year. The most common site on which they develop is the small intestine, with 28.5% of neuroendocrine tumors arising there, and nearly just as many affect the lungs. Other locations of neuroendocrine tumors include:
In 2010, the Governor of New York, David A. Paterson, recognized November as Carcinoid and NET Awareness Month and since then, more and more people find out about this rather obscure but serious health issue every year by virtue of the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation and the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance. Additionally, November 10th was deemed Neuroendocrine Tumor Awareness Day. For ideas on how to get involved, please visit their official websites below.
By the end of this year, pancreatic cancer will have been detected in 53,670 people in the U.S. and will have been responsible for the death of 43,090 others. Approximately 3% of Americans who develop a malignant disease have pancreatic cancer, whose timely diagnosis is often problematic due to lack of perceivable symptoms and adequate screening methods. When pancreatic cancer is found after it caused one or multiple distant metastases, the 5-year survival rate is only 2%. If, however, the disease is caught early, 27% of patients will survive for 5 years of longer. Tobacco is once again a major risk factor, along with excessive alcohol consumption, being overweight, diabetes, a family history of pancreatic cancer, a high intake of red and processed meat, and H. pylori infection. More than 90% of people who develop pancreatic cancer are over the age of 50.
At the moment, pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. and by 2020, it is expected to become the second. Since November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, numerous non-profit organizations - including Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research - will intensify their efforts to educate as many people as possible with respect to the risk factors of pancreatic cancer and why early diagnosis is crucial, as well as to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. On their websites, you can find many effective ideas on how you can show your support, such as:
Trusted Sources: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research
There are over 43 million caregivers in the U.S. at the moment, 70% of whom experience significant workplace difficulties as a consequence of their double roles. The median age of people who permanently attend to a child or another adult is 49, whereas 35% of caregivers in the country are over 65, a third of whom in poor health themselves. Caregivers who look after a family member account for 85% of all people who informally care for a person. On average, a family caregiver spends 24.4 hours per week attending to the individual in need of care, while 1 in 4 family caregivers dedicate 41 hours or more per week to such tasks. This is how much time some of the most common caregiving activities generally take up:
Without a doubt, being a caregiver is unimaginably challenging and exhausting, taking a heavy toll on multiple aspects of one's life, from work to personal relationships. To honor the invaluable work family caregivers tirelessly perform day by day, November was declared National Family Caregivers Month, and non-profit organizations such as Caregiver Action Network and National Alliance for Caregiving are particularly keener on raising awareness during this time of the year. Regardless of whether you care for a family member or are being taken care of, we cordially invite you to show your appreciation to these amazing people by donating to one of the previously mentioned organizations, whose official websites you can find below.
Plenty of diseases can severely affect marrow, the spongy tissue inside some of our bones which produces over 200 billion new red blood cells daily, including leukemia and lymphoma. Oftentimes, receiving a transplant is the only cure to sufferers, as cancer impairs the healthy functioning of their bone marrow tremendously. Every year, approximately 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with a disease which calls for a bone marrow transplant. Sadly, 70% of those who need one do not have a compatible donor in their family and thereby have to wait months or even years to find a match. Out of all racial groups, African-Americans have the most difficult time coming by a donor - only 66% of them will get a match, as opposed to 93% of Caucasian patients. When it comes to age, people between 18 and 44 are the most needed bone marrow donors.
For National Marrow Awareness Month, we encourage you to become a donor yourself, which may save a cancer patient's life. Donating bone marrow is a low-risk procedure and the only requirements you have to meet are:
Be The Match, a global leader in bone marrow transplantation, has a vast registry of potential donors you can easily join. To become a bone marrow donor, all you have to do is register yourself on their website, which you can access by clicking on the source below. However, keep in mind that only 1 in 430 people will actually have the chance to donate bone marrow, as compatibility is a complex matter. Nevertheless, if you do not meet the donation criteria, there are other ways you can participate in National Marrow Awareness Month, such as:
Trusted Source: Be The Match