Last Sunday, I was sitting at a table at a random craft fair trying to peddle my mom's cute purses-made-from-hardcover-books in an effort to cover some of my 3-Day travel costs. I had some other random crafts available, too, and a jar for donations to pass onto some of my 3-Day teammates who hadn't reached their minimums yet.

It was a crappy craft show. Few customers. I was chatting with the cranky old lady at the booth next to me. (Before you think I'm mean, please know she called herself a cranky old lady as she recounted a long conversation she had with someone at the telephone company about ways to reduce her bill. That was after she listed all her family members who had died in the last five years and discussed how her doctor wanted to put her on anti-depressants but she thought it wasn't worth the bother.)

Anyway, out of the blue, a TRUE cranky old lady looked at my 3-Day materials and told me breast cancer awareness makes her MAD.

Not mad like "It's horrible people are suffering." But mad like "Why is everyone rallying around pink things when there are plenty of other horrible cancers out there? Like lung cancer. And colon cancer." She told me she though breast cancer awareness was insulting to those battling other types of cancer.

I briefly considered offering her a pink ribbon temporary tattoo.

But I just smiled. And she went away, leaving a dozen retorts bubbling inside my head. Such as "You're RIGHT. Raising money for cancer research also insults the homeless, the socially marginalized, and abused animals. Best not do any charity work whatsoever than to try to help a few people." Or "Look, lady. Breast cancer slogans are cute and perky. Like, save second base. What kind of lung cancer slogan or prostate cancer slogan do you realistically think can go on a button?"

And then I wondered if cancers are similar enough that research for one type of cancer also can be applied to another type. I did a little googling, but didn't really find an answer. Does anyone know?

I did stumble across a cancer statistics report from the American Cancer Society. It has a nice little chart estimating the types of cancers that will be diagnosed and cause death this year, divided by gender.

New cases in men: Prostate (25%), lung and bronchial (15%), colon and rectum (10%), urinary bladder (7%), melanoma of the skin (5%), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (5%), kidney and renal pelvis (5%), Leukemia (3%), oral cavity (3%), pancreas (3%).

New cases in women: Breast cancer (27%), lung and bronchial (14%), colon and rectum (10%), uterine corpus (6%), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (4%), melanoma of the skin (4%), thyroid ($4), kidney and renal pelvis (3%), ovary (3%), pancreas (3%).

Interestingly enough, the report estimated that 192,370 new cases of breast cancer would be diagnosed in woman and 192,280 new cases of prostate cancer would be diagnosed in men this year. Pretty close to the same amount.

The American Cancer Society has several Web pages dedicated to prostate cancer here. And, it suggests men with an average risk of that type of cancer discuss having annual screenings with their doctor at age 50. Those with higher risk factors, such as prostate cancer running in their family, should start having those discussions at age 40.
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1 Response
  1. Lynn Says:

    Wow, you are totally a goddess. I'd have just been obnoxious.