Cancer Incidence and Hot Spots in Missouri
September is the nationally designated awareness month for several types of cancer: childhood, gynecologic, lymphoma, ovarian, prostrate, thyroid and leukemia. Cancer is the general term given to more than 100 individual diseases that are caused by abnormal cell growth and mutation in localized parts of the body. The abnormal and rapidly-growing cancerous cells can metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymph vessels. Cancer often manifests in the form of a tumor, or a mass of cancerous cells. The risk of developing cancer can be inherited genetically or acquired by environmental exposure to carcinogens or by certain risk behaviors such as tobacco use or prolonged sun exposure.