Dr. Mary discusses Cancer Awareness

The public is invited to a cancer awareness discussion presented by Dr. Mary Maryland at the Oak Park Arms Retirement Community. Mary Maryland, PhD, RN, will present a talk titled, “Cancer Awareness” at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. Dr. Mary, as she’s known, will present important information about cancer awareness.

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.

Anyone can develop cancer. About 1,500,000 new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2011. 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% 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. Today over 13 million people in the U.S. are either cancer survivors or currently battling the disease.

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

The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. 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 Jill Wagner at 708-386-4040.


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