Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells.
Regular screening examinations by a health care professional can result in the detection and removal of precancerous growths, as well as the diagnosis of cancers at an early stage, when they are most treatable.
Cancers that can be prevented by removal of precancerous tissue include cancers of the cervix, colon and rectum. Cancers that can be diagnosed early through screening include cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity and skin. For cancers of the breast, colon, rectum and cervix, early detection has been proven to reduce mortality. Cancers that can be prevented or detected earlier by screening account for at least half of all new cancer cases.
About 77% of all cancers are diagnosed in persons 55 years and older.
About 1.7 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2014. More than 22 million new cancer cases have been diagnosed since 1990.
One of every two men and one of every three women will get cancer in their lifetimes.
About 585,720 Americans are expected to die of cancer in 2014 – that is almost 1,600 people per day. In the United States, cancer is the second leading cause of death, responsible for 1 in 4 deaths.
The Good News
There are 14.5 million cancer survivors alive today in the United States.
Death rates have declined from 1975-2010 by an average of 2.1% per year, resulting in a decline of more than 50%.
The 5-year survival rate for all cancers diagnosed between 2003-2009 is 68%, up from 49% in 1975-1977.
V Foundation Facts
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary NC State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator.
The V Foundation awards 100% of direct cash donations and pledges directly to cancer research. Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses.
The Foundation awards competitive grants through a process vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of the nation’s top doctors and scientists.
The V Foundation has awarded more than $150 million, used to fund cancer research grants nationwide.
The Foundation has awarded grants to more than 120 institutions in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
[Cancer facts courtesy of “Cancer Facts & Figures 2014” by the American Cancer Society.]