In the United States, cancer is the second most common cause of death, exceeded only by heart disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, this year approximately 1,638,910 will be diagnosed with cancer and 577,190 people are expected to die of cancer across our county – that is more than 1,580 people per day.
The National Cancer Institute defines cancer as diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. There are several main types of cancer.
- Carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
- Sarcoma is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
- Leukemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, and causes the production of large numbers of abnormal blood cells, which can enter the blood system.
- Lymphoma and myeloma are cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.
- Central nervous system cancers are cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
While many cancers, such as those caused by cigarette smoking or sun exposure, could be prevented completely, many cancers are unfortunately not preventable. Regular screening examinations by a health care professional can result in the detection of precancerous growths and diagnosis of certain cancers at an early stage, when they are most treatable. Cancers that can be prevented by removal of precancerous tissue include cancers of the cervix, colon, and rectum. Cancers that can be diagnosed early through screening include cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity, and skin. For cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, and cervix, early detection has significantly reduced mortality and improved outcomes. These cancers that can be prevented or even detected earlier by screening account for at least half of all new cancer cases.
Cancer in Nevada
More than 11,000 Nevadans – adults and children – are diagnosed with cancer each year and an additional 4,600 die from the disease in our state alone. Unfortunately, cancer touches us all – many of us will be diagnosed with cancer during our lifetime, or we know a family member, friend, or neighbor who has or has had cancer.
- The leading causes of cancer deaths in Nevada are #1 lung and bronchus, #2 colorectal, and #3 breast (females) and prostate (males)
- Nevada has higher incidence rates for lung and bronchus, urinary bladder, and thyroid cancers compared to national rates.
- For childhood cancer, it is estimated that 50 children will be diagnoses with cancer in northern Nevada alone and at least 150 in the southern Nevada area for more than 200+ new cases of childhood cancer in Nevada in 2012.
- Per the number of adults who smoke, Nevada ranks 9th in the nation.
Cancer cases refers to the number of newly diagnosed cases of cancer occurring in a population in a given period of time.
Note: ^ Total refers to the total cancer incidence in Nevada and not only the total of the cancer types listed specifically.
Source: Nevada State Office of Health Statistics and Surveillance, 2011.