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According to www.cancer.org, approximately 595,690 people are expected to die from cancer this year, which is more than 1,630 each day.
Cancer can be caused by external and internal factors such as chemicals, radiation, viruses, hormones, immune conditions, or inherited mutations. The National Cancer Institution estimates about eight million Americans alive today have a history of cancer. Cancer affects people worldwide, but it also affects students and staff at Festus High School.
Breast cancer is a common type of cancer mostly found in women. Approximately 246,660 new breast cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in women this year, and about 2,600 new cases are expected in men. Morgan Wendel’s mom happens to be one of those patients diagnosed in early August of 2015.
“My mom’s family previously had a history [of cancer]. It’s hard because you don’t know what could happen, and it’s hard seeing your family in pain and knowing you can’t do anything about it. Just knowing that she has it and I could possibly have it scares me,” said Wendel.
Researchers estimate about 40,890 cancer patients (40,450 women and 440 men) will die from breast cancer. However, breast cancer death rates have decreased in women steadily since 1989.
In the U.S., non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is one of the most common types of cancer. Festus High School senior, Madison Akers, was personally affected by lymphoma. Akers was diagnosed with pre b non Hodgkin’s lymphoblastic lymphoma on May 12, 2007; she will be cancer free for seven years on May 19, 2016. This experience has helped Akers learn to not take her life for granted.
“It turns your world upside down. You go from being this normal kid who runs around and plays and does everyday stuff to being in a hospital, and you’re too weak to sometimes even walk to the bathroom,” said Akers.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in both men and women. Approximately 95,270 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed this year. Sophomore student Ronald Manley’s father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in October of 2015.
“It put a lot of stress on me, and it changes your everyday life. I think about him 24/7, and before he had his operation I had a lot of sleepless nights,” said Manley.
The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. Factors that might also increase risk would be obesity, physical inactivity, long-term smoking, high consumption of red or processed meat, low calcium intake, moderate to heavy alcohol consumption, and very low intake of fruit and vegetables.
Many famous celebrities have died from cancer including Patrick Swayze, Paul Newman, Peter Jennings, Jerry Orbach, Farrah Fawcett, Dennis Hopper, Babe Ruth, Bob Marley and many more.
Acral lentiginous melanoma can potentially be a serious form a skin cancer, however, it is rare in caucasians and people with lighter skin types. This specific type of melanoma is observed on the palms, soles, under the nails, and in the oral mucosa. Acral lentiginous melanoma occurs on non-hair bearing surfaces of the body that may or may not be exposed to sunlight. The average age for diagnosis is between ages 60 and 70 years old. Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley happened to be a victim of this rare skin cancer, which started in his toe. He was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma in 1978, and fought the battle for four years before it took his life on May 11, 1981 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami, Florida.