MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: What is the most common and most dangerous disease/cancer?

Date: Wed Oct 13 15:56:59 2004
Posted By: Paul Odgren, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Cell Biology
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 1094669991.Me

Dear Esther,

The answer will depend on defining "disease." If you just mean “cancer,” 
then I highly recommend you visit the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) 
website, in particular a summary of cancer incidence and deaths and how 
different cancers affect different genders and ethnic groups in the US. 
The overall leaders in causing deaths in the US are cancers of the colon 
(large intestine) and lung.

The NCI is part of the US National Institutes of Health. They track all 
cases of cancer in the United States and monitor cancer occurrence and 
deaths worldwide, too. They also pour lots of money into research efforts 
at universities and medical schools around the US to diagnose, treat, 
prevent, and understand cancer.

If it’s other diseases you may be interested in learning about, then the 
leading cause of death in the US is heart attacks or strokes, so-called 
cardiovascular disease. You can find a lot of very useful information 
through the American Heart Association

There are links to lots of information and background on heart disease, 
stroke, and much more.

A thorough and detailed analysis of causes of death in the US overall is 
available for the information collected for the year 2001 and can be found 
in an online document from the US government Centers for Disease Control 

Hope this helps get you started, and good luck on your project.

Paul Odgren, Ph.D.
Dept. of Cell Biology
University of Massachusetts Medical School

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