Here’s to Your Health: Cancer Awareness

doctorA representative from Interim HealthCare will present a talk titled “Cancer Awareness” at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. The seminar is part of the ongoing monthly series called, “Here’s To Your Health.”

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease. Half of all men and one-third of all women will develop cancer in their lifetime.

Since the risk of being diagnosed with cancer increases as individuals age, most cases occur in adults who are middle-aged or older. In fact, about 77 percent of all cancers are diagnosed in people 55 years and older.

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. Mutations in the genetic blueprint of cells—the DNA—cause them to become abnormal. About 5 percent of all cancers are strongly hereditary, in that an inherited genetic alteration confers a very high risk of developing one or more specific types of cancer. However, most cancers do not result from inherited genes, but from damage to genes occurring during one’s lifetime.

Genetic damage may result from either internal or external factors. Internal factors include hormones, inherited mutations, immune conditions or mutations that occur from metabolism of nutrients within cells. External factors such as tobacco, infectious organisms, chemicals, sunlight and radiation can also damage cells.

Cancer is caused by both internal and external factors. These causal factors may act together or in sequence to initiate or promote carcinogenesis. If the spread of these cells is not controlled, it can result in death.

Years ago, people diagnosed with cancer didn’t have very long to live. Currently more than 13 million Americans are cancer survivors, with an expected 18 million survivors by 2022.

Cancer is treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy.

Interim Healthcare will lead an educational discussion on cancer, including treatment and support options.

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.