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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Cancer.docx

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Psychology 2036A/B
Sarah Khan

Chapter 11 Cancer Section I: Defining Cancer Cancer – represents a number of diseases - A collection of cells that reproduce in an uncontrolled manner, forming a mass of cells Tumors - When cells reproduce in an uncontrolled manner, they form a mass or tumor - 2 types: benign or malignant - Benign tumor: mass of overgrown cells; not life threatening - Malignant tumor: large mass of cells that grow and multiply uncontrollably and interfere with other body organs and functions; life threatening o Can metastasize – hard to treat at this point Categories of Cancer Carcinoma: cancers derived from epithelial cells - Epithelial cells can be found in all parts of the body - Basal cell carcinoma – skin cancer o Can occur to anyone who has repeated, prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV rays of the sun o Most frequently occurring and least fatal - Breast, liver, bladder, and prostate cacner Sarcoma: soft-tissue cancer - Fat, muscle, nerves, tendons and other tissues that support organs - Readily metastasizes - Can be caused by genetic disease, exposure to chemicals, and some infectious viruses (i.e. HIV and Kaposi’s sarcoma) Leukemia: cancer of blood-producing tissues - Bone marrow (most common) - Bone marrows produces most of the body’s blood cells – RBC and WBCs - Best characterized by an uncontrolled growth of WBCs - Cells produced as a result of the disease are abnormal, immature cells - Cells are unable to perform the protective function of mature WBCs - Rare compared to other cancers - Most commonly found in children - Mortality rates associated with leukemia are relatively high - Treatment = bone marrow transplant o Transplanted marrow helps to replace the diseased cells (cells damaged by cancer) Lymphoma: cancer of the lymphatic system - Lymph vessels (glands) and organs that produce WBCs needed by the immune system - WBCs = lymphocytes o Produce B and T cells that defend against infection - Lymphocytes are abnormal in lymphoma – cannot function properly - Often leaves the body vulnerable to infection - Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma o Fatal form of lymphoma because tumors are usually malignant o Incidence is low but mortality is high - Hodgkin’s disease o Less severe o Infects lymph glands but less likely to spread to other organs Comparing Global and U.S. Incidences of Cancer - Chronic disease tend to disproportionately affect people in developing countries - Lack of access to health care often results in higher death rates for illness that are curable or easily controlled otherwise - People in developing countries experience higher mortality rates from cancer than those in developed countries - Colorectal, breast and prostate cancer are higher in developed countries, while stomach and liver cancer (men) and uterine cancer (women) are higher in developing countries Section II: Risk Factors for Cancer Cancer and Gender - Men have a higher relative risk – though it was believed to be women previously - In general, women lag behind men on incidence and mortality rates of cancer - Despite innovations in cancer prevention, detection and treatment, mortality rates for women have not decrease in the last 3 years (1.5% decrease for men) - Cancer can lead to death, but is NOT the leading cause of death in either gender - heart disease is first, cancer is second - Bronchial and lung cancer have the highest mortality rate  association with smoking and cancer - Top 3 most fatal cancers: lung, breast/prostate, colorectal Genetic Factors Genetic Markers for Breast Cancer - ~5-10% of breast cancer incidences due to cancer-susceptible genes or other hereditary factors - BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been linked to increased risk for incidences of early breast cancer when in mutated form o Association between gene and cancer most prevalent in Ashkenazi Jewish women – those with mutations had an 80-82% chance of developing breast cancer - Lifetime risk – the likelihood of developing condition X over the course of one’s lifetime - Risk of developing the disease increases with age - A woman’s chance of contracting breast cancer is influenced by the number of female family members with prior early onset of breast cancer - Relationship between breast cancer and ovarian cancer – BRCA1 and 2 are also predisposers of ovarian cancer Genetic Markers for Colon Cancer - Lynch syndrome – an inherited disease that can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer o May be due to the mutations of one of five genes o Individuals with Lynch syndrome have a lifetime risk of 80% for colorectal or other forms of cancer - An individual’s lifetime risk of colorectal cancer is increase when first-degree relatives (parents/siblings/children) have been diagnosed with the disease – 2-4x higher Race/Ethnicity and Cancer - Studies suggest a possible genetic factor for breast cancer that appeared to affect specific ethnic groups o U.S. – higher incidences among Caucasian women than African American or Latino women BUT higher mortality in African American and Latino women  Access to healthcare may be the cause of the discrepancy in data  AA and Latino women are less likely to undergo routine mammograms - SES can affect access to healthcare and treatment - Disparities in incidences and mortality are true for ALL cancers Environment and Cancer Mortality - Environmental factors (pollutants, pesticides, contaminants) and cultural/behavioural practices (diet and exercise) contribute to the disparity in cancer survival rates for ethnic groups - Carcinogens: cancer causing agents - Cell phones and cancer o Lonn: Swedish study on the relationship between long-term cell phone use and acoustic neuroma (benign)  Individuals who reported heavy cell phone use were 4x more likely to be diagnosed o Other research has come out that contradict the Lonn study – results were inconclusive o Subjects reported subjective symptoms – symptoms that are self-identified and self-reported  i.e. dizziness, fatigue, hedaches o most studies on digital cellular phones suggest no danger of brain tumors from short-term use - Asbestos o Environmental carcinogen o Bundle of fibers made from natural minerals o Used commercially in the US in the 1980s for sound and heat insulation and because of its fire-retardant properties o Airborne asbestos can become trapped in lunch tissues in the body and cause inflammation of the lungs and difficulties in breathing o In extreme cases, asbestos can cause cancer of the lung tissue – mesothelioma Health Behaviours and Cancers Smoking and Cancer - Smoking  cancer - Strong causation between smoking and the formation of lung tumors - 2006: ~80-95% of all individuals with lung cancer were smokers - Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals - Cigarette smokers swallow smoke causing accumulation of tar in the respiratory tract and can cause severe damage to the lungs - Individuals who smoke one or more packs a day are 20-25% more likely to develop lung cancer - Cigar and pipe smokers are also at a chance for increase risked but are less likely than cigarette smokers because they do not swallow the smoke  decreased risk - Secondhand smoke can also be a contributing cause to the development of lung cancer - The lifespan of smokers increases by 5-10 years after they stop smoking Diet and Exercise - Parkin: incidence of colorectal cancer is 80% higher in developed countries than in developing countries o When immigrants move to a low-risk country to a high-risk country, their risk is altered to that of the high-risk country - 60-70% of incidences of colorectal cancer in the US can be attributed to diet - Diets high in fats and cholesterol predisposed individuals to developing colorectal cancer, while diets high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables did the opposite - Relationship between colon cancer and overweight or obese BMI individuals o Incidences in colon cancer linked to weight gain primarily cause by unhealthy eating habits Section III: Cancer Treatments and Prevention Preventative Health Behaviours Diet, Exercise, and Colon Cancer - The ready availability of high-fat, high-cholesterol foods can contribute to higher risk of cancer - Eating habits are often developed early, u
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