New Jersey Environmental Public Health Tracking Program

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Cancer

Cancer is a group of diseases in which cells in the body grow uncontrollably.  It is often named by referring to the particular part of the body where it originates, even if it later spreads to other parts of the body.  Cancer is common and consists of a group of over 100 different diseases with differing causes and risk factors.  In general, most cancers are related to a combination of factors including heredity, family or personal health and reproductive history, and life-style factors such as smoking, diet, exercise, alcohol consumption and exposure to sunlight and certain infections.
Although air and water pollution have been of great public concern for decades, relatively few community-level environmental exposures have been definitively linked with elevated cancer rates.  The cancer risks associated with many chemicals have generally been identified through studies of workers who have had higher occupational exposures to these chemicals than the general public.

Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided or controlled.  People can choose to avoid exposure to tobacco, and can decide to modify their diet and increase their exercise.  Other factors, such as a person's age, race, family history of cancer, and genetics are not possible to modify.  Having a risk factor however does not mean that cancer will develop, and many people who develop cancer do not have any known risk factors.  More

What Information Does the EPHT Network Contain About Cancer in New Jersey?

The NJ EPHT Network contains state and county counts of New Jersey residents who have been diagnosed with selected cancers which may be environmentally-related, and age-adjusted incidence rates among New Jersey residents for these selected cancers.  The cancer indicators available on the New Jersey EPHT Network use data provided by the New Jersey State Cancer Registry.  In addition, interactive cancer incidence maps for New Jersey are available from the New Jersey State Cancer Registry.

Bladder Cancer:

Bladder cancer begins when normal cells in the bladder (an expandable, hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine before it leaves the body) begin to change and grow uncontrollably.  General information about bladder cancer is available from the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health Medline Plus websites.

Brain and Other Nervous System Cancers:

A brain tumor begins when cells in the brain begin to grow uncontrollably, and eventually form a mass.  The brain and spinal column make up the central nervous system (CNS) where all vital functions, including thought and speech, are controlled.  General information about brain tumors is available from the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health Medline Plus websites.

Breast Cancer:

Breast cancer begins when normal cells in the breast begin to change and grow uncontrollably.  General information about breast cancer is available from the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health Medline Plus websites.

Leukemia:

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. Leukemia begins when normal blood cells change and grow uncontrollably.  There are four main types of leukemia in adults: acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).  The most common types of leukemia to occur during childhood are: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).   General information about leukemia is available from the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health Medline Plus websites.

Lung Cancer:

Lung cancer begins when cells in the lung begin to change and grow uncontrollably and form a mass called a tumor, a lesion or nodule.  General information about lung cancer is available from the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health Medline Plus websites.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma:

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as NHL or lymphoma) is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body's immune system.  Lymphocytes are in the lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues (such as the spleen and bone marrow).  General information about non-Hodgkin lymphoma is available from the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health Medline Plus websites. 

Thyroid Cancer:

Thyroid cancer begins when the cells in the thyroid begin to change, and grow uncontrollably.  Thyroid cancer begins in the thyroid gland, which is located in the front of the neck just below the larynx (voice box).  The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, which regulates hormones in the body.  General information about thyroid cancer is available from the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health Medline Plus websites.  

Where Can I Get More Information about Cancer-Related Activities, Resources and Surveillance in New Jersey?

For additional information about cancer control and prevention activities in New Jersey, please contact the NJ State Department of Health, Office of Cancer Control and Prevention, PO Box 360, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0360, or call (609) 984-4978.
 
For additional information about cancer epidemiology and cancer statistics for New Jersey, please contact the NJ State Department of Health, Cancer Epidemiology Services, PO Box 369, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0360, or call (609) 588-3500.  Interactive maps of statewide and county-level cancer incidence and mortality data are available online by cancer site, gender, race, and ethnicity.  Maps are also available for statewide age-specific incidence and mortality data. 
 
For additional information about outreach, education, and screening services for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers for low-income, uninsured and underinsured New Jersey residents, please contact the NJ Department of Health, NJ Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) Program, PO Box 364, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0364, or call 1-800-328-3838 or (609) 292-8540.
 
For additional information about research in New Jersey into the causes, prevention, treatment and palliation of cancer, and for resources for providers and consumers of cancer services in New Jersey, please contact the NJ State Department of Health, New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research, PO Box 369, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0369, or call (609) 631-4747.

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