611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

NurseWise 24-Hour Crisis Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

NurseWise 24-Hr Crisis Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Cancer
Basic Information

Cancer

In most people's minds there is no scarier diagnosis than that of cancer.  Cancer is often thought of as an untreatable, unbearably painful disease with no cure. However popular this view of cancer may be, it is exaggerated and over-generalized. Cancer is undoubtedly a serious and potentially life-threatening illness. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, cancers figure among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012, and the number of new cases expected to rise by about 70% over the next two decades.  However, it is a misconception to think that all forms of cancer are untreatable and deadly. The truth of the matter is that there are multiple types of cancer, many of which can today be effectively treated so as to eliminate, reduce or slow the impact of the disease on patients' lives. While a diagnosis of cancer may still leave patients feeling helpless and out of control, in ma...

 
Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What is cancer?

  • Normal cells in the body grow and divide for a period of time and then stop growing and dividing, and only reproduce themselves as necessary to replace defective or dying cells.
  • Cancer occurs when this reproduction of cells goes out of control.
  • Cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled, uncoordinated and undesirable cell division.
  • Unlike normal cells, cancer cells continue to grow and divide for their whole lives, replicating into more and more harmful cells.
  • As cancer cells divide and replicate themselves, they often form into a clump of cancer cells known as a tumor.
  • Tumors cause many of the symptoms of cancer by pressuring, crushing and destroying surrounding non-cancerous cells and tissues.
  • Tumors come in two forms.
  • Benign tumors are not cancerous and do not grow and spread to the extent of cancerous tumors. They are usually not life threatening.
  • Malignant tumors grow and spread to other areas of the body in a process known as metastasis.

For more information

What types of cancer can a person get?

  • Though cancer is often thought of as a single disease, there are, in fact, many different types of cancer.
  • Each type has a different set of risk factors, rates of progression, treatment options, and prognosis.
  • The subtypes of cancer get classified and named based on the area of the body where they are originally found.
  • Five of the most common types of cancer are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.

For more information

What are the causes of cancer?

  • The causes of cancer are not fully understood, but years of research have brought to light risk factors that increase people's chances of getting particular types of cancer.
  • Some of these risk factors are unable to be avoided, while others can be avoided by choosing to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • For example, smoking cigarettes is an avoidable risk factor. Changing your lifestyle to get rid of unhealthy choices such as smoking can be difficult to accomplish (tobacco is an addictive drug and stopping smoking means beating that addiction), but the rewards are real.
  • Stopping smoking and similar healthy lifestyle changes will not insure that you never get cancer, but they will reduce your cancer risk.
  • This is true whether you have never had cancer before, or if you have previously beaten cancer and are wondering what you can do to reduce your chances of relapse.
  • Each specific type of cancer is different and consequently has a different set of associated risk factors.

For more information about risk factors for breast cancer
For more information about risk factors for colorectal cancer
For more information about risk factors for lung cancer
For more information about risk factors for prostate cancer
For more information about risk factors for skin cancer

What are the stages of cancer?

  • Following a positive identification of cancer, doctors will try to establish the stage of the cancer.
  • Cancers are ranked into stages depending on the specific characteristics that they possess; stages correspond with severity.
  • Determining the stage of a given cancer helps doctors to make treatment recommendations, to form a likely outcome scenario for what will happen to the patient (prognosis), and to communicate effectively with other doctors.
  • There are multiple staging scales in use.
  • One of the most common ranks cancers into five progressively more severe stages: 0, I, II, III, and IV. Stage 0 cancer is cancer that is just beginning, involving just a few cells. Stages I, II, III, and IV represent progressively more advanced cancers, characterized by larger tumor sizes, more tumors, the aggressiveness with which the cancer grows and spreads, and the extent to which the cancer has spread to infect adjacent tissues and body organs.
  • Another popular staging system is known as the TNM system, a three dimensional rating of cancer extensiveness. Using the TNM system, doctors rate the cancers they find on each of three scales, where T stands for tumor size, N stands for lymph node involvement, and M stands for metastasis (the degree to which cancer has spread beyond its original locations). Larger scores on each of the three scales indicate more advanced cancer.
  • Still another staging system, called summary staging, is in use by the National Cancer Institute for its SEER program. Summary stages include: "In situ" or early cancer (stage 0 cancer), "localized" cancer which has not yet begun to spread, "regional" cancer which has spread to local lymph nodes but not yet to distant organs, "distant" cancer which has spread to distant organs, and finally, "unknown" cancer to describe anything not fitting elsewhere.

For more information 

What are the symptoms of cancer?

  • Every type of cancer is different, and has a unique set of symptoms associated with it.
  • Some cancer symptoms are manifest outwardly, and are relatively easy to notice and identify (such as a lump in the breast for breast cancer, or blood in the stool corresponding to colorectal cancer).
  • Other symptoms are observable, but harder to decipher.
  • Still other forms of cancer produce no observable symptoms until they are at a very advanced (and therefore hard to treat) stage.
  • Specific symptom detail for cancer subtypes is provided in our cancer subtype documents.

For more information about breast cancer symptoms
For more information about colorectal cancer symptoms
For more information about lung cancer symptoms
For more information about prostate cancer symptoms
For more information about skin cancer symptoms

What are treatments for cancer?

  • Treatments vary based on the type, location, and size of the cancer being treated, as well as patient's age, medical history, and overall health.
  • Each form of cancer is different and calls for a different set of treatment approaches.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are two common approaches used to treat almost all types of cancer.
  • Chemotherapy is commonly used for patients whose cancer has possibly spread to various locations in the body. It can be used to reduce cancer symptoms and pain, and to slow the growth of cancerous tumors.
  • Chemotherapy uses a powerful combination of drugs that are either taken by mouth or injected directly into the bloodstream to target cells in the body that divide and grow quickly and are usually able to destroy these cells.
  • Chemotherapy drugs also kill some regular healthy cells causing side effects such as fatigue, nausea, and hair loss.
  • Radiation therapy is most commonly used to treat cancer that has not spread from its original location.
  • The goal of radiation therapy is to kill cancer cells or at least limit their ability to grow and divide by damaging their genetic material.
  • Like chemotherapy, some normal, healthy cells can also become damaged through radiation therapy.

For more information about breast cancer treatment
For more information about colorectal cancer treatment
For more information about lung cancer treatment
For more information about prostate cancer treatment
For more information about skin cancer treatment

What is recovery from cancer like?

  • Being diagnosed with cancer of any type is a frightening and discouraging prospect which can shatter the illusion control that allows most people to live relatively carefree lives.
  • In the aftermath of cancer, it is normal to experience a sort of hyper-vigilance for health symptoms, and associated fears that even benign aches and pains may indicate a recurrence of cancer.
  • Cognitive psychotherapy can be helpful in learning to manage anxiety symptoms.
  • Careful and systematic cancer monitoring with your physician and avoidance of cancer causing risk factors will insure you are doing all you can to avoid relapse.

For more information about recovering from breast cancer
For more information about recovering from colorectal cancer
For more information about recovering from lung cancer
For more information about recovering from prostate cancer
For more information about recovering from skin cancer


 
Latest News
Gene Expression Profile Improves ID of High-Risk Melanoma
FDA Warns Companies Selling Fraudulent Cancer Treatments
Cancer Risk Rises After Childhood Organ Transplant: Study
Study Says Blood-Chromosome Test Predicts Lung Cancer's Return
Waiting 10 Months for Colonoscopy May Raise CRC Risk
FDA Warns 14 Companies on Bogus Cancer 'Cures'
PSA Testing Rates for Prostate Cancer Have Leveled Off
Should Prostate Cancer Screening Start Earlier for Black Men?
Surveillance Biopsy Timing Not Tied to Reclassification
Second Cancers Deadlier for Younger People: Study
Hypertension May Positively Affect Ovarian Cancer Prognosis
ASCO Updates Recs on Potentially Curable Pancreatic Cancer
Breast Cancer Rates Increasing Among Asian-American Women
Vaccine-Chemotherapy Combo Promising in Glioblastoma
Yoga Helps Ease Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment
Vaccine Targeting Brain Tumors Seems Safe in Study
Cancer Occurrence Differs Among African-Born, U.S.-Born Blacks
It's Yoga to the Rescue for Prostate Cancer Patients
Mortality Up With Depression Just Before Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Black Americans' Cancer Rates Differ by Birthplace
Metformin Use Does Not Increase Prostate Cancer Survival
Household Flame Retardants Tied to Thyroid Cancer Risk
Many Docs Don't Discuss Prostate Cancer Screening Pros and Cons
Updated Prostate Cancer Test Guidelines Now Stress Patient Choice
Mindfulness Practice Reduces Cortisol Blunting During Chemo
Combo Rx Plus Stem-Cell Tx Ups PFS in Multiple Myeloma
Health Tip: Eat Healthy After Radiation Therapy
Can Smog Raise Breast Cancer Risk?
Survival Up With Surgery for Abdominal Melanoma Metastases
Increased Cancer Risk for Childhood Kidney Recipients
Surgery May Be Best for Advanced Melanoma
Many Disabled Adults Aren't Screened for Colon Cancer: Study
'Cancer Profile' Is Changing for Americans With HIV
AACR: Genetic Mutations Seen in Many Childhood Cancer Survivors
Prolonged Antibiotic Use Tied to Precancerous Colon Growths
AACR: Shorter Sleep Duration Linked to Prostate CA Mortality
Protein Expression Predicts Rectal Cancer Outcomes
Drug Offers Some Hope for a Deadly Lung Cancer
AACR: Atezolizumab Aids Some With Triple-Negative Breast CA
AACR: Regular Aspirin Use Linked to Lower Cancer Mortality
Gene Changes May Put Childhood Cancer Survivors at Risk
'Electric Cap' Might Help Fight a Deadly Brain Tumor
Breast Cancer 'Immunotherapy' Helps Some With Tough-to-Treat Disease
Thyroid Cancer Incidence, Mortality Up in U.S. Since 1974
U.S. Thyroid Cancer Cases Continue to Rise
Survival Continues to Improve for Most Cancers
Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Rates Up Nationwide
Smokers May Be Prone to Risks From Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy
Lap, Abdominal Hysterectomy Equal for Early Endometrial CA
BRCA Mutation Testing Shifts to Unaffected Women
 
Links
 
Book Reviews
 
Self-Help Groups
 
Resources
Basic InformationLatest NewsLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Medical Disorders
Pain Management