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Cancer in the Family

  • By: Laura E. Miller & John P. Caughlin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

The implications of cancer affect the entire family. The following discussion first reviews the influence cancer has on families and describes challenges relating to family communication patterns and prevention efforts. Resources for families facing cancer are provided at the conclusion of this entry.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are 1.4 million cancer diagnoses in the United States every year, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that people living in the United States have lifetime odds of about 1 in 2 of developing some kind of cancer. These odds mean that most families must deal with cancer at some point. Cancer is a frequent cause of death; according to the CDC, approximately 550,000 deaths in the United States are ...

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