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America's Cancer Clusters

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The editors at Best Nursing Schools decided to research the topic of:

Cancer Clusters of America

Is America Giving You Cancer?

- Total new Cases of Cancer in US in 2012: 1,638,910
- Environmental factors (as opposed to hereditary factors) account for an estimated 75%-80% of cancer cases and deaths in the US.
- Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.
- 4 to 10% of deaths caused by cancer will be from occupational exposure and environmental pollutants [visual note: in bold b/c this is what leads into the following info]

Environmental and Occupational Carcinogens and the Cancers they Cause

- Bladder: paint/dyeing products, printing processes, benzidine, bet-napthylamine, arsenic, chemicals used in rubber, leather and textile industries, nitrates, chlorine
- Breast: PBDEs and DDT
- Colon: nitrates
- Kidney: nitrates
- Larynx: Asbestos, wood dust, paint fumes, chemicals used in metalworking, petroleum, plastics, and textile industries
- mesothelioma: asbestos
- leukemia: formaldehyde
- lip: sunlight
- liver: arsenic, vinyl chloride, lindane
- Lung cancer: arsenic, asbestos, beryllium, cadmium,, chrominum compounds, coal products, nickel refining, radon, soot, tars, silica, vinyl chloride, diesel exhaust, radioactive ores like uranium, lindane
- Lymphatic and hematopoietic: benzene, herbicides, insecticides, radiation, nitrates
- nasal cavity and sinus: formaldehyde, textile industry, mustard gas, nickel refining, chromium dust, leather dust, wood dust, baking, flour milling, radium
- Pancreatic cancer: DDT, nitrates
- Prostate cancer: arsenic
- rectum: Nitrates
- Skin: arsenic, coal tars paraffin, certain oils, sunlight, lindane
- Soft-tissue sarcoma: radiation
- thyroid cancer: PBDEs

Out and About

- Ultraviolet radiation: Its Always Sunny on Planet Earth
- Ultraviolet radiation comes primarily from the sun, but also includes tanning beds.
- It currently is believed that 40-50% of Americans who live to age sixty five have cancer of the skin at least one time.
- Over 1 million cases of carcinoma each year
- Skin cancer is the most prevalent of of cancer today but can readily be diagnosed by skin specialists and effectively treated in its earliest stages:
- Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, with more than 60 of these compounds known or suspected to cause cancer.
- It is estimated that more than 88 million nonsmoking Americans 3 years of age and older were exposed to SHS in 2007-2008.
- SHS contains more than 7,000 chemicals, at least 69 of which cause cancer.
- Each year, about 3,400 nonsmoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing SHS.
- SHS causes an estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are not current smokers
- Also look out for
- Ionization radiation comes from x-rays, gamma rays and radioactive materials.
- causes damage to DNA, which may in turn cause cancer

Consumer products: Cancer-causing potential?

- Antiperspirants, talcum powder, hair dyes, cosmetics as well as food products containing aspartame, bovine growth hormone and dyes
- Some studies suggest that these products may increase the risk of developing cancer, but more research is being conducted to determine their carcinogenic levels.
- The best advice: Limit your exposure to suspect products until more evidence is available.

At home

- If these walls could talk: Asbestos found in older buildings, increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.
- Killing you softly: couches since before 2004
- most couches before 2004 contain a flame-retardant: polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
- EPA describes PBDES as causing: "liver toxicity, thyroid toxicity and neurodevelopmental toxicity"
- PBDEs have been used in paints, plastics, foam furniture padding, textiles, rugs, curtains, televisions, building materials, airplanes and automobiles since 1965
- Today, half of the PBDEs and 95% of the PentaBDE used worldwide are consumed by the U.S. and Canada
- Studies show that the PBDE body levels in the U.S. population were at least 10 times higher than in Europe and other industrialized areas
- Household Dust contains arsenic and DDT
- about 60% of household dust comes from outside, through windows, doors, vents and on the soles of your shoes.
- DDT, an insecticide banned in the 1972, continues to be has been found in our environment, including in household dust and is projected to exist in most homes in the U.S.
- linked especially to Breast and pancreatic cancer, and more recently to testicular germ cell tumors
- Trichloroethylene, a substance used in dry cleaning, has been linked to several cancers
- air out your clothes after you bring them home
- Radon: a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas
- It is found in soil and rock, outdoors and indoors, with the highest levels in basements, where radon leaks through cracks or gaps in floors or walls.
- High levels of radon have been linked to lung cancer. These high levels can occur when radon becomes concentrated in an area and cannot dissipate.
- Radon is estimated to cause between 3% and 14% of all lung cancers, depending on the average radon level in a country.
- household items with carcinogens:
- Air fresheners and moth balls contain napthalene and formaldehyde.
- Art supplies like epoxy and rubber cement glues, acrylic paints and solvents, and permanent markers
- Artificially scented Candles: Avoid artificially scented paraffin candles that produce combustion by-products, including soot. Beeswax only, with cotton wicks.
- Carpet and upholstery shampoos:
- Flea, tick and lice control: many contain lindane

At work: Cancer, Like a Boss

- Certain Industries more prone: manufacturing, mining, coal production and iron and steel founding
- Diesel exhaust is given off by trucks, buses, trains, construction and farm equipment, generators, ships and vehicles with diesel engines.
- less than 2% of chemicals manufactured or processed in the U.S. have been tested for carcinogenicity
- it has been estimated that 4% to 10% of U.S. cancers (48,000 incident cases annually) are caused by occupational exposure (maybe use near map section)
- Arsenic in the atmosphere comes from mining, smelting, burning fossil fuels and other industrial processes

Cancer Cluster Map: Correlation, sure. What about causation?

- According to the National Cancer Institute: A cancer cluster is the occurrence of a greater than expected number of cases of a particular disease within a group of people, a geographic area, or a period of time.
- With more than 100 types of cancer with various causes, it is difficult to define a cancer cluster
- A suspected cancer cluster is more likely to be a true cluster, rather than a coincidence, if it involves one or more of the following factors:
- A large number of cases of one type of cancer, rather than several different types.
- A rare type of cancer, rather than common types.
- An increased number of cases of a certain type of cancer in an age group that is not usually affected by that type of cancer.