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.
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.
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:
Other factors are outside of our control, such as: