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Published: Tuesday, 2/12/2002

Cancer facts: Did you know?

  • More than 1,500 people in the United States are expected to die of cancer today.

    National Cancer Institute

  • Last year, cancer cost $156.7 billion in the United States.

    National Cancer Institute

  • Only seven states have a higher cancer rate than Ohio.

    United Health Foundation 2001 estimate

  • For every 100,000 Ohioans, 512.6 were diagnosed with cancer. Nationally, the cancer rate is 450.6 cancer cases per 100,000 people.

    United Health Foundation 2001 estimate

  • Only 18 states have lower cancer rates than Michigan.

    United Health Foundation 2001 estimate

  • Ohio has more smokers than all but six states. Michiganders are somewhat less likely to smoke. Sixteen states have more smokers than Michigan.

    United Health Foundation 2001 estimate

  • Only 16 states have a higher rate of lung cancer among men than Ohio. The state rate is 83.8 cases per 100,000 for 1994-1998. Michigan's rate was higher yet. At 86.4 per 100,000, it's No. 12 in the nation. Kentucky leads all states with 121.7 diagnoses 100,000 men.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Kentucky men had the highest cancer mortality rate from 1994 through 1998, with 99.4 of every 100,000 men felled by the disease. Ohio's mortality rate, at 75.1 per 100,000 men was 17th highest. Michigan, at 68.9 deaths per 100,000, was slightly above the national average of 68.9 deaths per 100,000, and 23rd in the nation.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Twelve states had higher lung cancer death rates for women than Ohio's rate of 37.5 per 100,000 women In the years 1994-1998, Nevada topped the list for lung cancer mortality among women, with 46.7 deaths per 100,000 women.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Twenty-one states had a higher mortality rate for lung cancer among women than Michigan, where the rate was 35.5 per 100,000 women in 1994-1998.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Michigan had the 11th highest rate of lung cancer among men and women from 1994-1998. For every 100,000 men, 86.4 were diagnosed with the disease. For every 100,000 women, 48.6 were diagnosed with cancer.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Fourteen states had a higher incidence of lung cancer among women than Ohio's rate of 47.1 deaths per 100,000 women in 1994 through 1998. Kentucky women have the highest lung cancer incidence rates at 58.5 per 100,000.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Ohio was No. 9 for the number of breast cancer deaths from 1994-1998. For every 100,000 women, 25.6 died of breast cancer. New Jersey was No. 1, with 27.2 breast cancer deaths per 100,000 women.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Twelve states had a breast cancer death rate higher than Michigan's in 1994 through 1998. There were 24.8 deaths for every 100,000 women in the state.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Ohio was among states with the lowest number of prostate cancer diagnoses from 1994 through 1998. Only seven states had rates lower than Ohio's 111.5 diagnoses per 100,000 men. However, during the same three-year period, the state saw more prostate cancer deaths than all but 17 states.

    American Cancer Society 2002 statistics

  • Egyptian physicians prescribed pills and pigs' ears for cancer.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived from 460 to 370 BC gave cancer its name, when he called it a ”karkinos“ and ”karkinoma“ because of its crab-like appearance. Romans adapted the name, using the Latin word ”cancer."

    An increase in ”black bile“ was thought to be the cause of cancer from the Middle Ages to the 16th Century. Arsenic was sometimes use to treat it.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • Seventeenth Century German surgeon Fabricius Hildanus was the first to remove lymph nodes in a quest to cure cancer. In the same era, another physician introduced total mastectomies. All surgeries were performed without anesthesia or sterilization.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • Gaspare Aselli discovered the vessels of the lymphatic system in the 17th Century and theorized abnormalities there as a cancer cause, finally removing black bile as the chief suspect in the disease.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • The invention and improvement to the microscope let French physician Claude Gendron (1663-1750) to discover that cancer cells arise locally and continue to grow.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • The first study linking cancer to an environmental cause arose when London Surgeon Percival Pott (1714-1788), noted the prevalence of scrotal cancers among chimney sweeps and recognized its connection with the sweeps' constant exposure to soot.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • Bernardino Ramazzini may have made the first link between lifestyle and cancer when the Italian physician noted the high rate of breast cancer among nuns in 1700. Although Ramazzini suggested celibacy as the cause, scientists now note a more specific link: Breast cancer risk is higher among women who delay or forgo pregnancy.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • The role of tobacco in cancer was suspected as early as 1761, when a physician noted an increase in polyps among snuff users. In 1795, Samuel von Soemmering drew a similar conclusion about pipe smoking.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • By 1838, microscopy research by Johannes M ller established that cancers were made of unusual, disorganized, cells.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • Cancer surgery made a great leap in 1846 when Dr. William Morton gave a patient ether before operating to remove a tumor of the jaw. Around the same time, Joseph Lister used carbolic acid to disinfect operating rooms, dramatically reducing post-operative deaths.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • E.H. Grubbe, a Chicago researcher, first used radiation against cancer in 1896.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • Researchers first hint of a genetic component to cancer came in the early 20th century, when scientists began theorizing a connection between abnormal chromosomes and cancer.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • German bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich is considered the Father of Chemotherapy. He won the Nobel Prize in 1908 for his work on white blood cells and spent years looking for cancer-fighting agents.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • Although virus wat one point during the 20th Century researchers thought viruses would be the culprit in cancer. Today it's known that only a few human cancers have a known viral connection. Those includeBurkitt's lymphoma is caused by theEpstein-Barr Virus and Cervical Cancer is linked to human papillomavirus — viruses wer eventually ruled out as the main cause of cancer.

    In 1911, researchers Alexis Carell and Montrose Burrows became the first to keep cancer tissue alive in the laboratory over the long term. Today, such tissue cultures are critical for cancer research.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • The ability of chemicals to cause cancer was first demonstrated in 1915 by Japanese researcher Katsusabura Yamagiwa when he repeatedly applied coal tar to rabbit ears and the animals developed cancer.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • Insurance statistician Frederick Hoffman persuaded the U.S. Census Bureau to look at cancer mortality in the United States after he compiled the first worldwide cancer database in 1915. Mr. Hoffman acted on the conviction that cancer was on the increase.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • The first successful use of chemotherapy occurred in 1941 when Dr. Charles Huggins of the University of Chicago used a synthetic estrogen to slow prostate cancer growth.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • The first study demonstrating the connection between smoking and cancer was published in 1950.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • The first strides against childhood leukemia took place in 1947 after Dr. Sidney Faber noted that folic acid encouraged tumor growth in mice. By administering a drug that blocked folic acid, he temporarily slowed the disease.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • One of the most successful cancer tests ever developed emerged in the 1940s when George Papanicolaou developed the Pap smear for cervical cancer. Cancer mortality among women fell 70 percent as a result.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • By the 1970s, it was learned that chemicals were most effective against cancer when used in combinations. Childhood leukemia was one of the first diseases to be cured by this approach. A four-drug regimen tamed Hodgkin's Disease. This cancer that was once incurable is now cured in 80 percent of all cases.

    National Cancer Institute.

  • The Surgeon General of the United States issued the first report on smoking and health in 1964. By 1966, health warnings were printed on cigarette packs, and in 1970, cigarette manufacturers were no longer allowed to advertise on radio and television.

    National Cancer Institute.



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