CANCER, DEADLY CANCER

Not anything I have, thank goodness, but we all know some people that have had cancer of some kind, and many of them died from it.  M’lady’s brother died of renal cell carcinoma (kidney) in March, after a miserable but valiant struggle for 2 ½ years after a (high) stage 4 diagnosis spread to his spine and hips.  Dad died of pancreatic cancer 3 months after it was diagnosed and just short of his 85th birthday, this after late onset diabetes at age 81 and his meticulous attention to caring for it.  I sometimes bitterly joke that he was the healthiest one in the family until he got sick and died.  Perhaps his doctor should have given him more meticulous attention, but it is history now. 

 

A good friend died in his 40s of brain cancer he thought he might have contracted from time spent in high ship towers near strong Navy radar.  His father died of throat cancer, after a life of smoking I believe.  A former co-worker’s mother died of throat cancer when he was about 14.  An older gentleman up the street currently has hepato-cellular carcinoma (liver) and is hanging in there with extensive treatments.  A very good friend my age had cancer, beat it, and is living a healthy, active life.  Of course we’ve all heard of breast cancer, testicular cancer (bicyclist Lance Armstrong), u-name-it.

 

Sooo many different kinds of cancer.  It boggles the mind.  Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the U.S.  Following is a portion of a chart (a few years old but close enough for government work, as they say) from CDC leading causes of death 2005

 

Table B.  Percentage of total deaths, 2005                                                           

                                          Number Deaths     Percent
of

                                                            total
deaths           

                       

   All causes                                2,448,017         100.0

1     Diseases of heart                         652,091           26.6 

2     Malignant neoplasms (Cancers)             559,312           22.8 

3     Cerebrovascular diseases (Stroke)         143,579           5.9  

4     Chronic lower respiratory diseases 130,933           5.3  

5     Accidents (unintentional injuries)        117,809           4.8  

6     Diabetes mellitus                         75,119            3.1  

7     Alzheimer’s disease                       71,599            2.9  

8     Influenza and pneumonia                   63,001            2.6  

9     Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome,nephrosis   43,901            1.8  

10    Septicemia                                34,136            1.4  

11    Intentional self-harm (suicide)           32,637            1.3  

12    Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis       27,530            1.1  

13    Essential (primary) hypertension and

      hypertensive renal disease                24,902            1.0  

14    Parkinson’s disease                       19,544            0.8  

15    Assault (homicide)                        18,124            0.7  

   All other causes (Residual)               433,800           7.7  

 

As you can see Heart Disease takes a lion’s share first with 26.6%, Cancers are close behind at 22.8% of all deaths.

 

Following are the major types of cancer (table from same source):

 

Table 10. Number of deaths from 113 selected causes:  United States, 2005

 

Malignant neoplasms (C00-C97)

559,312

    Malignant neoplasms of lip, oral cavity and pharynx
      (C00-C14)

7,773

    Malignant neoplasm of esophagus (C15)

13,499

    Malignant neoplasm of stomach (C16)

11,514

    Malignant neoplasms of colon, rectum and anus
      (C18-C21)

53,252

    Malignant neoplasms of liver and intrahepatic bile
      ducts (C22)

16,076

    Malignant neoplasm of pancreas (C25)

32,760

    Malignant neoplasm of larynx (C32)

3,797

    Malignant neoplasms of trachea, bronchus and lung
      (C33-C34)

159,292

    Malignant melanoma of skin (C43)

8,345

    Malignant neoplasm of breast (C50)

41,491

    Malignant neoplasm of cervix uteri (C53)

3,924

    Malignant neoplasms of corpus uteri and uterus, part
      unspecified (C54-C55)

7,096

    Malignant neoplasm of ovary (C56)

14,787

    Malignant neoplasm of prostate (C61)

28,905

    Malignant neoplasms of kidney and renal pelvis
      (C64-C65)

12,517

    Malignant neoplasm of bladder (C67)

13,253

    Malignant neoplasms of meninges, brain and other
      parts of central nervous system (C70-C72)

13,152

    Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, hematopoietic and
      related tissue (C81-C96)

55,028

        Hodgkin’s disease (C81)

1,272

        Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (C82-C85)

20,873

        Leukemia (C91-C95)

21,623

        Multiple myeloma and immunoproliferative
          neoplasms (C88,C90)

11,200

        Other and unspecified malignant neoplasms of
          lymphoid, hematopoietic and related tissue (C96)

60

    All other and unspecified malignant neoplasms
      (C17,C23-C24,C26-C31,C37-C41,C44-C49,C51-
      C52,C57-C60,C62-C63,C66,C68-C69,C73-C80,
      C97)

62,851

 

 

 

Here is a thorough document for 2008:

 

CANCER FACTS AND FIGURES 2008

 

There is a LOT of information out there.  (Google is your friend.)

 

I’m all for free market capitalism in the research and development of cancer cures, but if the government really feels it must throw bailout money at someone, cancer (and heart disease, Parkinson’s, MS, et al) would be a good place to start.

 

According to the article On front line in cancer fight “A record 861 cancer drugs are in the research pipeline…”

 

What can we do?  Contribute, run, help a friend, contribute.  We can beat this.

 

 

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About JohnRH

Retired, avid winter skier, avid reader, traveler (avidly). :)
Gallery | This entry was posted in Health and wellness. Bookmark the permalink.

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