The number of Americans with a history of cancer is growing due to the aging and growth of the population, as well as improving survival rates, and the main risk factors for cancer include tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
According to WHO, among men the 5 most common sites of cancer diagnosed in 2012 were lung, prostate, colorectum, stomach and liver cancer.
Among women the 5 most common sites diagnosed were breast, colorectum, lung, cervix and stomach cancer.
There’s nothing that can scare us quite like cancer. It isn’t a disease that attacks your body. It’s a normal function, which has to happen for you to function, and then, for some unknown reason, goes wrong and turns into something deadly. But it doesn’t have to be, and it’s important to remember that cancer isn’t a death sentence, and sometimes, despite their best intentions doctors get it wrong. And sometimes there are patients who couldn’t be more thrilled.
Breast Cancer, 1920 – Juliette Gordon Lowe, Girl Scout founder.
Juliette Gordon Lowe had lived life to the fullest, she founded the girl scouts in America, cementig her name in history – and you can find a LOT of information about her life on her official website, however one of the things less talked about is her cancer, from which she died when she was in her 60s.
That could be because her disease did not control her life, during which she managed to grow the girl scout movement from the original 18 members into well over 100,000 members – and now has over 1 million.
In her time, 5% of those suffering from breast cancer survived beyond 5 years. And over the past decades the amount of cancer cases have been on the rise, but have the survival rates also been?
The median survival of breast cancer patients increased steadily from 21 months in 1920 to 41 months in the decade from 1970 to 1980. The percentage of women actually surviving 5 years increased from 5% in the 1920s to roughly 25% in the 1960s, but has since remained stagnant – despite the use of combination drug programs in the 1970s. According to the Baltimore Sun, a new analysis has shown that overall death rates due to cancer have shown a decline recently, the first one since 1900.
These statistics show that we don’t know everything yet. But we have to keep trying, and Sylvie Fortin, 36 is one of those reasons why.