By Elizabeth Silverthorne
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Additional info for Cancer (Diseases and Disorders)
Melanoma can spread to major organs such as the lungs, the liver, and the brain. For 2008 the National Cancer Institute estimated a total of more than sixty-two thousand new cases of melanoma in the United States and more than eight thousand deaths from it. Many of those deaths could be prevented if everyone were aware of the warning signs of skin cancer and took precautions to protect their skin cells from damage by excessive UV rays. m. m. • Wearing broad-brimmed hats while outdoors in the sun 44 Cancer • Wearing tightly woven protective clothing while outdoors in the sun • Using a waterproof sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher • Staying out of tanning beds • Having a doctor check any suspicious-looking skin lesions Radon Gas Radon, an invisible, odorless gas, is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in America.
With viruses that are sexually transmitted, like HIV and hepatitis, practicing safe sex is a good precaution. And washing hands carefully and not touching the mouth and nose is a good way to avoid germs of all kinds. Vaccines The use of vaccines is a preventive measure under extensive study. There are two types of cancer vaccines. One is intended to treat existing cancers, and the other is intended to prevent cancers from developing. As of mid-2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has licensed two vaccines to prevent viruses that can lead to cancer.
Preventing Cancer 47 In April 1986 there was an even more horrendous accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union. A reactor melted down, spewing radioactive materials over a wide area. Whole communities around Chernobyl were devastated, and the soil was so contaminated that crops could no longer be grown there. In addition to the people who were killed or injured in the accident, numerous cancer deaths have occurred over the years from the radiation. Scientists on the International Commission on Radiological Protection have said that the exact number of radiation-related cancers resulting from the Chernobyl disaster will never be known.
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