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Cancer

Cancer occurs when cells grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. Cancer can start anywhere in the body and travel anywhere in the body (called metastasize). Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., followed by breast, lung and prostate cancer; these are also the four most common types of cancer in Canada.

Impact of Cancer

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and the second leading cause of death in the U.S. The financial costs of cancer are enormous: for the person it impacts, the health and welfare fund that covers associated treatment and for society overall. A cancer diagnosis can take a significant toll on the overall health and well-being of a Laborer and their family.

Addressing Cancer

There is currently no cure for cancer, but there are a variety of effective treatments available, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Early detection and treatment are the best way to improve cancer outcomes. This can be done by getting regular screenings as recommended by a doctor, performing monthly self checks for abnormal growths, lumps or lesions and reporting any unusual symptoms like unexpected weight gain or loss, severe fatigue or changes in appetite to a doctor. Additionally, being aware of the risk factors for cancer can help inform lifestyle choices that reduce risk for the disease.

Some cancer risk factors are controllable, such as:

  • Diet and physical activity
  • Use of tobacco products
  • Alcohol consumption

Other factors are outside of our control, such as:

  • Family history
  • Age, sex and race
  • Being exposed to cancer-causing agents in our environment or in the workplace

Fund Resources & Services
  • Use the Recent Articles or All Related Articles tabs above to view Lifelines articles on this topic or browse our Cancer publications.
  • The Fund provides information and resources on controllable risk factors for cancer, such as tobacco, nutrition and fitness, that help members and their families make informed health decisions, lead healthier lives and do what they can to prevent certain types of cancer.
  • The Health Promotion Division and LIUNA health and welfare funds recommend members, dependents and retirees receive age-appropriate testing and screening to aid in early detection for cancer.
  • The Health Promotion Division works with LIUNA health and welfare fund administrators, consultants and trustees to update existing preventive care benefits as well as implement new benefits. Members are encouraged to contact their health and welfare fund or Local Union for detailed coverage information.

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