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Relay for Life – Cancer facts and figures

Cancer: It is a diagnosis thousands of Americans face every day. It is a disease that has changed the lives of millions of people worldwide. It is a diagnosis organizations like the American Cancer Society feverishly work to eradicate.The Relay for Life event is the largest ACS fundraiser of the year, and the Falcon/Peyton communities are earnest participants.At the Relay for Life Falcon/Peyton kickoff event in April, ACS employee and Relay for Life volunteer Christina Breiner said, “I see the effects of what we are doing firsthand. We make a huge impact every day.”Funds raised by Relay for Life help ACS fund cancer research and provide resources to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, with a goal to provide high standards of care; and, ultimately, to wipe out cancer.More than one million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the ACS. Cancer is the second most common cause of death behind heart disease, accounting for one out of every four deaths.”Trends in cancer death rates are the best measure of progress against cancer,” the ACS reported.There is a silver lining: Cancer death rates have dropped.Cancer rates rose for most of the 20th century, with an increase in the number of people smoking. Rates peaked in 1991, with 215 cancer deaths per every 1,000 persons, according to ACS. From 1991 to 2012, cancer death rates dropped by 23 percent because of reductions in smoking and improvements in cancer detection and treatment.The 2016 report also stated, “This decline translates into the avoidance of 1.7 million cancer deaths. Death rates are declining for all four of the most common cancer types ó lung, colorectal, breast and prostate.”Joyce Clapham was 25 years old when she lost her mother to brain cancer. Clapham is also a survivor of skin cancer. For her, working with ACS and as a Relay for Life Falcon/Peyton leader is a way to fight back.”When I found Relay, I knew I could help make a difference so others wouldn’t have to watch a parent go through cancer and lose them so young,î Clapham said. ìThen, when I was diagnosed with skin cancer, my passion grew even more, as I knew how losing my mom felt; and I did not want my son to ever go through that.”Colorado and U.S. cancer statisticsThe ACS reports there are an estimated 24,730 new cancer cases statewide for 2016; the numbers include data for all cancers except basal and squamous cell, and including most situ carcinomas (groups of abnormal cells).In Colorado, the estimated number of new cases of female breast cancer is 4,110; for lung and bronchus cancer the number is 2,520; colorectal cancer is at 1,790; and new cases of prostate cancer total 3,060.In the U.S., the ACS estimates that about 2,600 males and 246,660 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. It is estimated that 40,450 women will die this year from breast cancer; for men, the mortality rate is 440. Prostate cancer will account for 180,890 new cases nationwide and claim about 26,120 lives this year.Early diagnosis and successful treatments have improved cancer survival rates, according to the ACS Cancer Facts and Figures 2016 report.”The five-year relative survival rate for all cancers diagnosed during 2005-2011 was 69 percent, up from 49 percent during 1975-1977.îThe American Cancer Society’s “Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2016” report states that 80 percent of lung, bronchus and trachea cancer deaths are attributable to cigarette smoking in adults age 35 and older.AMC epidemiologists reported that about “188,800 of the estimated 595,690 cancer deaths in the U.S. will be caused by cigarette smoking.”Screening and awareness of unusual changes in the body can help prevent cancer as well. The report also stated that in Colorado, as of 2014, 68.6 percent of women age 40 and older have had a mammography in the last two years; 71.8 percent of Coloradan women age 65 and over have had a mammography in the last two years.The American Cancer Society reported that, as of 2014, 8.8 percent of Coloradans, male and female, age 50 and over, have had a fecal occult blood test in the last year; 64 percent of Colorado men and women had a colonoscopy between 2013 and 2014.Statistics from 2013 show that 26.6 percent of American males age 50 to 64 had a prostate exam in the last year, compared to 43.9 percent of American males age 65 and older that same year.Besides avoiding tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, the American Cancer Society recommends regular screenings and checkups, maintaining an active lifestyle and using sunscreen and hats to aid in preventing cancer.Visit for more resources and information.Relay is Aug. 20Support the Falcon/Peyton Relay for Life event Saturday, Aug. 20, from noon to midnight at the Falcon High School track, 10255 Lambert Road.The family-friendly event will feature a survivor’s lap, a Luminaria ceremony, food, games and a box car race -ñ the winner of the race will receive a family four-pack of tickets to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.Contact Alexis Vogelin at 719-630-4971 or for more information.

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