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Cancer is a leading cause of death in Michigan, second only to heart disease. In the United States, it is estimated that 1 of every 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Cancer can start anywhere in the body. Diseases are often named after the part of the body where they begin such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal (colon) cancer.
Adult cancer data are available on the MiTracking data portal.
Normally, human cells grow and divide, making new cells to replace old or damaged ones. Cancer causes new cells to grow abnormally. These extra cells divide and multiply, invading other tissues.
Cancerous tumors are malignant, meaning the cells can multiply and invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Cancer that has spread from the place it started to another area of the body is called metastatic cancer.
There are many types of cancer. Not all cancers multiply at the same pace. Some types of cancer are considered slow-growing and are less aggressive. Some types are fast-growing, spreading rapidly to other parts of the body. Current research is looking into cancer cell behavior and therapies that can help fight cancer.
For more information on cancer, please visit the American Cancer Society - Cancer Basics.
Changes in a cell’s DNA causes cancer. Some changes may be from lifestyle choices, environmental factors, or viruses and infections. Other changes may be inherited from our parents.
- Naturally occurring exposures
- Some medical treatments
Viruses and Infections
Some cancers run in families. These inherited genes make up a small amount of cancers. Most cancers cannot be linked to the genes we inherit from our parents.
For more genetics information, please visit the American Cancer Society - Genetics and Cancer or NIH's National Cancer Institute - The Genetics of Cancer.
Cancer risk can be reduced by making healthy life choices such as:
- Staying away from tobacco
- Being safe in the sun
- Protect yourself from the sun by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, even on cloudy or cool days
- Do not use tanning beds
- Making healthy choices
- Eat a healthy diet
- Be physically active
- Keep a healthy weight
- Limit the amount of alcohol that you drink
- Protecting against and getting tested for infections
- Get vaccinated for HPV
- Get tested for Hepatitis C
For more prevention information, please visit CDC's Cancer Prevention and Control - How to prevent cancer or find it early.
Knowing the symptoms of cancer can be helpful. Just because you may have a symptom, does not mean you have cancer. There are some general symptoms of cancer listed below. Certain cancers will have specific symptoms. If you have symptoms that last a long time or get worse, you should talk with your doctor.
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme Tiredness
- Skin changes
For more information on symptoms including specific cancer symptoms, please visit American Cancer Society - Signs and Symptoms of Cancer.
Not all cancers have symptoms especially in their early stages, when they are most treatable. Cancer screening can assist in finding some of these cancers before there are symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your cancer risk and cancer screening tests. Screening can help find cancer at an early stage, making it easier to treat or cure.
Learn more about finding cancer early with screening at American Cancer Society - Find Cancer Early or CDC's Cancer Prevention and Control - Screening Tests.
Cancer data on MiTracking include these indicators:
The data can tell us:
- Cancer rates in Michigan by type of cancer, year, gender, and race
- If cancer rates are going up or down over time
- If part of the population is at higher risk of cancer
However, the cancer data cannot tell us:
- What causes cancer
- The total effect of cancer in a population
For more data information, please visit:
A person is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis for the remainder of his or her life. Cancer survivors can lower their risk of getting a new cancer or having their cancer return by:
- Stopping smoking
- Limiting alcohol
- Being physically active
- Eating lots of fruits and vegetables
Learn more about finding cancer survivorship at Centers for Disease Control – Staying Healthy After Cancer Treatment
American Cancer Society
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Michigan Cancer Consortium (MCC)
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS)
National Institute of Health (NIH): National Cancer Institute