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Cancer is the general name of a group of diseases. Normally your body cells grow, divide, and die in a timely and orderly fashion. Cancer happens when abnormal cells start to grow out of control and invade other tissues.

Here are some facts about cancer:

  • There are more than 100 different types of cancer
  • Cancer begin in your body’s cells
  • Cancer cells can spread into other parts of the body
  • Untreated cancer can cause serious illness and even death

The most common types of cancers are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Colon cancer

It is important to remember that not all tumors are cancer. These tumors are called benign and are almost never life threatening, but can grow very large.

Educational Resources

Below are some resources addressing cultural and spiritual aspects of cancer care for American Indians and Alaska Natives, produced through the Southwest American Indian Collaborative Network.

  • Keeping Our Spirit Strong [PDF - 4 KB]
    A video discussion guide for "Cancer Has Crept among Us" and "American Indian Attitudes & Values: An Integral Part in Cancer Care"
  • Spiritual Care within Oncology Care [PDF - 187 KB]
    An article describing the Oncology Care Program at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center



National Cancer Institute Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 
Part of the National Institutes of Health, they have information on the different types of cancer, treatment, prevention, living with cancer, and research.

American Cancer Society Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 
Information on cancer, how to stay healthy, finding support and treatment, and research.

American Indian Cancer Foundation Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 
Provides cancer education, prevention, early detection, treatment and survivor support.

Cancer Prevention and Control Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 
Part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they have information about prevention, statistics, and living with, through, and beyond cancer.

American Childhood Cancer Society Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 
The American Childhood Cancer Society has helped over a million children beat cancer.