Recently, videos of ALS ice bucket challenges have been prevalent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other type of social media you can think of. Through social media, many people are now more aware of this disease. There is another serious disease with many varying types: cancer.
According to cancer.net the number of people with a history of cancer in the U.S. has increased from 3 million since 1971 to about 13.7 million today. Of those to survive, 22 percent had breast cancer, 20 percent had prostate cancer, 9 percent had colorectal cancer and 8 percent had cervical, uterine or ovarian cancers.
A group of students were polled on which cancers they considered the most lethal. Many of the top cancers mentioned were lung, prostate and breast cancer. Colon and skin cancer were also mentioned.
Healthguidance.org says that the top 5 killers are lung, colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer.
There are many causes of cancer, such as genetics or poor lifestyle choices, but often the causes are entirely unknown.
Doherty Fredrick, employee in the ICS unit at Primary Children’s Hospital, spoke of the difference between pediatric cancer and adult cancer, “The cancer that kids develop, we don’t see any correlation between lifestyle like you do with adults.”
Smoking is a big cause of lung cancer, and red meats have been linked to higher chances of cancer as well. With red meats being linked to raising the possibilities of cancers, are there foods that help with preventing the disease?
“Some foods do show cancer-fighting properties, though no one is yet able to say one food or another can stop cancer in its tracks,” stated webmd.com. Research suggests a healthy diet filled with various fruits and vegetables is helpful in preventing cancer.
Raising awareness of diseases is a way research gets funded and helps aid in early awareness of the disease.
K’lila Bingham, a student at Weber State University said, “One of the easiest ways to raise awareness lately has been social media, because they had that ice bucket challenge for the ALS, and that raised awareness immensely.”
The words on Facebook and other social media sources have helped the cause for many diseases. William Shakespeare said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” In this case, it would be the keyboard.
There have been technological advances that aid early detection and prevention. Students and faculty can start through frequent check-ups and getting their family’s cancer history.
For those who are diagnosed with cancer, or for those who will have a family member with cancer, there have been many advancements in cancer research which have increased the chance of recovery.
Survival rates have increased due to four developments in cancer detection and treatment.
Early screening processes such as a mammograms, pap smears and colonosocopies help with detecting cancer quickly. There are new improvements in treatment, as well as improvements in how side effects from cancer drugs are treated. New treatments like targeted therapies can target cancer’s specific genes, proteins and tissues.
Awareness and early detection of different types of of the disease can help increase the likelihood of survival for cancer patients.