The number of new cases of cancer in the United States is increasing each year. People of all ages get cancer, but nearly all types are more common in middle-aged and elderly people than in young people. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer for both men and women. The next most common type among men is prostate cancer; among women, it is breast cancer. Lung cancer, however, is the leading cause of death from cancer for both men and women in the United States. Brain cancer and leukemia are the most common cancers in children and young adults.
The more we can learn about what causes cancer, the more likely we are to find ways to prevent it. Scientists study patterns of cancer in the population to look for factors that affect the risk of developing this disease. In the laboratory, they explore possible causes of cancer and try to determine what actually happens when normal cells become cancerous.
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