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CH. 9 PREVENTING MAJOR DISEASE. CANCER is now No. 1 killer of Americans! UNDERSTANDING CANCER 1/3 smoking, 1/3 obesity, poor diet, inactivity. 1 in 2 American men risk of developing cancer. 1 in 3 American women risk of developing cancer.

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CANCER is now No. 1 killer of Americans!


  • 1/3 smoking, 1/3 obesity, poor diet, inactivity.

  • 1 in 2 American men risk of developing cancer.

  • 1 in 3 American women risk of developing cancer.

  • African Americans more likely to develop and die from cancer than any other racial or ethnic group

  • AA women have the highest incidence of colorectal and lung cancers of any ethnic group.

  • Breast cancer highest among white women.

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  • AA men have highest rates of prostate, colorectal, and lung.

  • Lung cancer no. 1 cause of death in men and women

  • Breast cancer no. 2 cause of death for women (highest in white and lowest Native Americans)

  • Prostate cancer no. 2 cause of death for men

  • Colon cancer is no. 3 cause of death for men and women

  • Skin cancers affects 1 in 5 Americans

  • Denial is first reaction to diagnosis to cancer.

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CANCER - Abnormal, uncontrolled cellular growth

Tumor - Abnormal cells grouped together

  • benign - non-cancerous

  • malignant – cancerous

    METASTASIZE – spread the cancer to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or the lymphatic system.

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Primary Risk Factors for Cancer

  • Diet – reducing fats

  • Inactivity

  • Obesity – lose fat and excess weight

  • Heredity – racial and ethnic groups p. 255

  • Environmental factors(80-90% of cancers)

    • Tobacco = lung cancer

    • Sunlight = skin cancer

  • Physical activity reduces the risk of breast cancer by 20-40%.

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  • Carcinoma – most common kind, skin, or line internal organs and glands.

  • Sarcoma – supporting or connective tissues, bones, muscles, blood vessels.

  • Leukemia – blood-forming tissues (bone-marrow, lymph nodes, spleen)

  • Lymphoma – lymph system (the network that filters out impurities)

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  • Skin Cancer – p 256

    • basal-cell – most common, epidermis (top layer of skin)

    • squamous-cell – also common, involving cells in the epidermis

    • melanoma – deadliest type of skin cancer, 1-2% of all cancer deaths. (UV radiation) 1 in 75. Appears on scalp and neck.

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Asymmetry: One half doesn’t match the other half

Border irregularity:

The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred

Color: Rather than uniform pigmentation, there are shades of tan, brown, and black, with possible dashes of red, white, and blue.

Diameter: The mole is larger than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser). (The melanoma shown here is magnified about 20 times its actual size.)

Fig. 10-6, p. 286

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Warning signs of Melanoma p. 257

A – asymmetry, one half doesn’t match the other half

B – border, the edges are ragged, notched, or blurred

C – color, not uniform in color, shades of tan, brown, & black w/ possible dashed of red, white and blue.

D – diameter, the mole is larger than 6mm (head of eraser on pencil)

E – elevation, mole is raised

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BREAST CANCER – every 3 minutes a woman in U.S. learns she has breast cancer. Every 12 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer. Best tool = mammography at age 40. BSE 259

  • Age, p. 258, read risk of developing breast cancer.

  • Family history

  • Long menstrual history, before age 12, childless women

  • Age at birth of first child – first child in 40’s

  • Breast biopsies – if required more likely to develop cancer

    • Fibrocystic disease “lumpy breasts” is not a risk factor

  • Race – higher risk in white women over 40, but AA women greater chance of dying.

  • Occupation – p. 258 read

  • Alcohol – 2 or more drinks/day 40% risk of cancer

  • Hormone Therapy – higher risk 5 yrs. or longer

  • Obesity – excess weight after menopause, higher risk

  • Sedentary lifestyle – physical activity reduces risk

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CERVICAL CANCER – highest incidence Vietnamese, Alaskan Native, Korean, Hispanic. The mortality rate for AA is twice that of whites because of high death rate among older black women.

  • primary risk factor infection with HPV

  • other risk factors – early age of first intercourse, multiple sex partners, genital herpes, smoking or exposure to passive smoke.

    Warning Signs - irregular bleeding or unusual vaginal discharge.

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OVARIAN CANCER – leading cause of death from gynecological cancers.

>Risk Factors: family history, personal history of breast cancer, obesity, infertility, and low levels of transferase (an enzyme involved in the metabolism of dairy foods).

>No obvious symptoms until advanced stages.

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>3rd most common cancer and accounts for 10% of cancer deaths.

>Risks: over age 50, male, high fat or low fiber diet, inadequate intake of fruits and veggies, family history, smoking, alcohol consumption, prolonged high consumption of red and processed meat.

>Early signs are bleeding from rectum, blood in the stool, change in bowel habits.

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  • After skin cancer, most common cancer in men. Risk is 1 in 6. If the cancer has spread the risk of death is 1 in 30. AA men more often than white. Asian and American Indian less often. Screening at age 50. Risks: high no. of sex partners, STD’s, age, and family history.

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  • Last 20 yrs. has risen 51% in the U.S. Between 18-35 yrs. Slight enlargement of one testicle, lower abdominal pain, lumps on the testicles. Change in the way it feels

  • P. 260 self exam.

    LEUKEMIA (not in book)

  • Cancer of the blood.

    LUNG CANCER (not in book)

  • Leading cause of cancer deaths. WHY?

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DIABETES MELLITUS – a disease in which the body doesn’t produce or respond properly to insulin. P. 240

  • Type 1 – insulin dependent, or juvenile-onset

  • Type 2 - non-insulin dependent, or adult-onset

    Risk factors

  • Family history, inactivity, excessive weight, obesity, unhealthy food choices, depression.

    Early signs

  • Frequent urination, increased thirst, wt loss or gain, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, tender gums, flu-like symptoms

  • AA, Native Americans, and Mexican A. are at high risk of developing diabetes.

    Treatment: type 1, injections, infusion pump, oral medication.

    Type 2, balanced diet, exercise, and weight management.

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ASTHMA (not in book) cancers.

  • Constriction of the breathing passages. 14 deaths in the U.S. each day.

  • More common among blacks and inner-city residents.

    ANEMIAS (not in book)

  • Diseases affecting the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

  • Anemia caused by nutritional inadequacies, loss of blood, heavy menstrual bleeding, deficiencies in red-cell production or genetic disorders.

  • Iron-deficiency anemia is a form of anemia caused by lack of dietary iron. Most common and goes undiagnosed.

  • Sickle-cell anemia – genetic blood disorder, hemoglobin in red blood cells is abnormal. Blood cells become, crescent or sickle-shaped and unable to supply oxygen. Causes crippling, severe pain, and premature death. About 8-10% of AA carry the gene.

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(not in book) cancers.

ARTHRITIS – inflammatory disease of the joints.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own connective tissue, common among younger people.

  • Osteoarthritis, primarily at the joints, normal wear and tear, mostly older adults. Women 3x more often than men.

    HERNIAS – a bulge of soft tissue that forces its way through or between strained or weakened muscles. Most common in abdomen.