Cancer Awareness Calendar

January

Cervical Cancer

February

National Cancer Prevention
Gallbladder / Bile Duct Cancer

January

Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of death for American women. The cervical cancer death rate dropped significantly with the increased use of the Pap test. (This screening procedure can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early-when it is small and easier to cure.) But it has not changed much over the last 15 years.

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for cervical cancer in the United States for 2020 are:

  • About 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed.
  • About 4,290 women will die from cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44 with the average age at diagnosis being 50. It rarely develops in women younger than 20. Many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cancer is still present as they age. More than 20% of cases of cervical cancer are found in women over 65. However, these cancers rarely occur in women who have been getting regular tests to screen for cervical cancer before they are 65.

See Cervical Cancer Screening Tests for more information about tests used to screen for cervical cancer.

(Source: American Cancer Society)

February

Cancer Prevention is critical to lower the chance of getting cancer. In addition to the physical problems and emotional distress caused by cancer, the high costs of care are also a burden on patients, their families, and the public. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer is lowered. Hopefully, this will reduce the burden of cancer and lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

Risk Factors for Cancer: Cancer risk factors include exposure to chemical or other substances, as well as certain behaviors. They also include things people cannot control, like age and family history. A family history of certain cancers can be a sign of possible inherited cancer syndrome. Learn more

The Genetics of Cancer: Cancer is a genetic disease – meaning, cancer is caused by certain changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide. Genetic changes that promote cancer can be inherited from our parents if the changes are present in germ cells, which are the reproductive cells of the body (eggs & sperm). Such changes, called germline changes, are found in every cell of the offspring. Learn more

The statistics are alarming:

  • In 2020, an estimated 1.8 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States and over 606,520 people died from the disease.
  • Cancer mortality is higher among men than women.
  • Approximately 39.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes.
  • In 2020, an estimated 16,850 children and adolescents ages 0-19 will be diagnosed with cancer and over 1,730 will die of the disease.

Addition Information

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that lies just under the liver in the upper abdomen. The gallbladder stores the bile, a fluid made by the liver to digest fat.


Risk factors for Gallbladder Cancer:
Being female and Native American can increase the risk of developing gallbladder cancer. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk.

Detection: Gallbladder cancer is difficult to detect and diagnose for the following reasons:

There are no symptoms in early stages of gallbladder cancer.
The symptoms of gallbladder cancer, when present, are like the symptoms of many other illnesses.
The gallbladder is hidden under the liver.

Gallbladder cancer is sometimes found when the gallbladder is removed or other reasons. Patients with gallstones rarely develop gallbladder cancer.

Additional Information

Source: American Cancer Society

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