November is Cancer Caregivers Awareness Month

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Colorado Cancer Research Program would like to celebrate those often unsung heroes who support cancer patients and their loved ones. Caregivers play a huge role in a patient’s cancer journey. In addition to providing comfort and encouragement, they do myriad of other things to ease the burden of the patient. A survey done by Cancer Experience Registry found:

  • 98% provided emotional support

  • 96% went with their loved one to medical appointments

  • 82% helped with decision-making

  • 79% coordinated medical care

  • 80% provided transportation

  • 74% helped manage finances

In the midst of all the support, caregivers often forget or don’t have time to take care of themselves. We encourage caregivers to take time for themselves and get the support they need. (Cancer Support Community’s website has many good resources for caregivers. Click HERE for more information.)

So to all the spouses, partners, siblings, children, and friends - we salute you and thank you for being one of the most important ingredients in the cancer patient’s enhanced quality of life.

Thank You!

November is also Lung, Carcinoid, Pancreatic, and Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer

Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread, but some people with early lung cancer do have symptoms. If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed at an early stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse

  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)

  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing

  • Hoarseness

  • Weight loss and loss of appetite

  • Shortness of breath

  • Feeling tired or weak

  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back

  • New onset of wheezing

For more information, click HERE.

(Source: American Cancer Society)

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Carcinoid Cancer

Carcinoid is the term used to describe well to moderately-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors in the stomach, intestine, appendix, rectum, and lung. Neuroendocrine tumors and cancers act like the cells they come from, often releasing certain hormone-like substances into the bloodstream. In most people with carcinoid tumors, the levels of these hormones are not high enough to cause symptoms.

The number of carcinoid tumors diagnosed has been increasing for many years. The reason for this is unknown. Although the exact number isn’t known, about 8,000 neuroendocrine tumors and cancers that start in the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach, intestine, appendix, colon, or rectum) are diagnosed each year in the United States.

The average age of people diagnosed with cardinoid tumors is in the early 60s. Carcinoid tumors are more common in African Americans than in whites, and are slightly more common in women than men.

For more information, click HERE.

(Source: American Cancer Society)

Pancreatic Cancer

Several factors can affect a person’s chance of getting cancer of the pancreas. But having a risk factor, or even many risk factors, does not mean that someone will get the disease. And many people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors.

Risk factors that can be changed

Smoking: One of the most important risk factors for pancreatic cancer. The risk of getting pancreatic cancer is about twice as high among smokers compared to those who have never smoked. About 20% to 30% of pancreatic cancers are thought to be cause by cigarette smoking. Cigar and pipe smoking also increase risk, as does the use of smokeless tobacco products.

Overweight and Obesity: Being overweight is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Very overweight (obese) people are about 20% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. Carrying extra weight around the waistline may be a risk factor even in people who are not very overweight.

There are risk factors that can’t be changed are age, gender, race, family history, inherited genetic syndromes, diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, cirrhosis of liver, and stomach problems. There are also factors with unclear effect on risk such as diet, physical inactivity, coffee, and alcohol.

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for pancreatic cancer in the United States for 2018 are:

  • About 55,440 people (29,200 men and 26,240 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

  • About 44,3300 people (23,000 men and 21,310 women) will die of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the U.S. and about 7% of all cancer deaths.

For more information, click HERE.

(Source: American Cancer Society)

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Stomach Cancer Awareness Ribbon.jpg

Stomach Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates for stomach cancer in the United States for 2018 are:

  • About 26,240 cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed (16,500 in men and 9,700 in women)

  • About 10,800 people will die from this type of cancer (6,510 men and 4,290 women)

Stomach cancer mostly affects older people. The average age of people when they are diagnosed is 68. About 6 of every 10 people diagnosed with stomach cancer each year are 65 or older. The risk that a man will develop stomach cancer in their lifetime is about 1 in 95. For women the chance is about 1 in 154. But each person’s risk can be affected by certain other factors.

In the U.S., the number of new cases of stomach cancer have decreased about 1.5% each year over the last 10 years. Stomach cancer is much more common in other parts of the word, particularly in less developed countries. It is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the world.

For more information, click HERE.

(Source: American Cancer Society)