Monthly Digest – August 2021

Month Long National Immunization Awareness Month There are vaccines that can prevent healthy people from...

By Kate Dilligan | 02/09/2021

Month Long

National Immunization Awareness Month

There are vaccines that can prevent healthy people from getting certain cancers caused by viruses. Like vaccines for the chicken pox or the flu, these vaccines protect the body from these viruses. This type of vaccine will only work if a person gets the vaccine before they are infected with the virus.

There are 2 types of vaccines that prevent cancer approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

HPV vaccine. The vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV). If this virus stays in the body for a long time, it can cause some types of cancer. The FDA has approved HPV vaccines to prevent:

HPV can also cause other cancers the FDA has not approved the vaccine for, such as oral cancer.

Hepatitis B vaccine. This vaccine protects against the hepatitis B virus (HBV) which can cause liver cancer.

There are vaccines that treat existing cancer, called treatment vaccines or therapeutic vaccines. These vaccines are a type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy. They work to boost the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Doctors give treatment vaccines to people who already have cancer. Different treatment vaccines work in different ways. They can:

  • Keep the cancer from coming back
  • Destroy any cancer cells still in the body after treatments end
  • Stop a tumor from growing or spreading

Retrieved from Cancer.Net

Specific Date

August 1 – World Lung Cancer Day

Lung cancer is responsible for more cancer deaths than any other cancer in both men and women.

In fact, it claims more than 150,000 American lives every year. Despite these astonishing numbers, many people know very little about this disease.

This is what everyone should know about lung cancer: Anyone can get lung cancer. In fact, 1 in 16 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed in their lifetime—that’s a new diagnosis every 150 seconds! And although smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, almost two-thirds of all new diagnoses are in people who have never smoked or are former smokers. In fact, up to 30,000 Americans who have never smoked get lung cancer every year.

Symptoms of lung cancer can be nonspecific. Lung cancer may not produce noticeable symptoms in the early stages, and many people aren’t diagnosed until the disease has advanced. But people who develop any of the following problems should see a health care provider who can evaluate these symptoms and develop a diagnostic plan:

  • A new cough that does not go away
  • Changes in a chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath or you are more easily winded
  • Pain in the chest area
  • A raspy or hoarse voice
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Worsening headaches

Screening for lung cancer can save lives. As with many other cancers, a key to surviving lung cancer is catching it in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. For patients who have small, early-stage lung cancer, the cure rate can be as high as 80% to 90%. Cure rates drop dramatically as the tumor becomes more advanced and involves lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Screening with low-dose spiral computed tomography (CT) scan has been proven to reduce lung cancer deaths in people at high risk for lung cancer. In fact, the National Lung Screening Trial found a 20% reduction in deaths from lung cancer among current or former heavy smokers who were screened with low-dose spiral CT, compared to those screened with a chest X-ray. Because CT scans can also give “false-positive” results—by mistaking scar tissue or noncancerous lumps for cancer—they’re recommended only for people at high risk. 

Retrieved from Cancer.Net

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