Bone cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer out there – all the more reason for better awareness and testing procedures. For each two cases diagnosed, one of those cases die. But how does it happen? Initially, bone cancer starts with a small growth on the bone – a hard lump on a bone that comes off first as an annoyance before anything else. This growth, or bone tumor, then increases in size and breadth if it is malignant (cancerous). Stages 1-3 are characterized by growths on the bone – starting with one small growth moving into multiple tumors on the same bone. Stage 4 is the truly dangerous form of the disease – it has moved from a singular bone tumor to growing much larger and potentially into the lymph node. By this time, it could have also moved into the lungs (the latter is classified as stage 4A, while the former is stage 4B). Once the cancer has reached stage 4, surgery and chemo are the two recommended paths. It’s important for those with bone cancer to be mindful of their bone density – the bones of cancer patients get brittle and frail, making quality of life much lower due to the pain that inherently comes with such a disease. Testing requires a process known as a biopsy, where a tissue sample from a bone bump is examined under a microscope. This is an important procedure – this yellow wristband is designed to help raise awareness about the pain and process that comes with bone cancer.
Bladder cancer is a serious killer – 17000 people will die this year due to the disease itself. While it only makes up 5% of all cancers in America, it remains the fourth most common cancer in men. It is primarily for those of advanced age – 9/10 cases are in those who are over 55, and the average age of diagnosis is 73. Bladder cancer as a disease is characterized by urothelial carcinomas, which are cells that line into the urethra and take up more and more space. This results in intense pain for the sufferer of the disease. Ways to prevent bladder cancer include not smoking (increases risk by 3 times), removing yourself from the dye industry (benzidine is terrible for bladder cancer risk), and drinking more water (which is a good tip for just about everyone). Treatment for the disease is primarily a combination of surgery and chemotherapy – like most cancers. Bladder cancer due to its designation as a disease for the elderly tends to get less press time than things like breast cancer. Show your support for this silent killer with a loud yellow wristband!
Written by Michele Wheat