According to the American Cancer Society, cancer occurs when cells grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should. Cancer can start anywhere in the body and travel anywhere in the body (called metastasize).

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and the second leading cause of death in the U.S. The financial costs of cancer are enormous: for the person it impacts, the health and welfare fund that covers associated treatment and for society overall. A cancer diagnosis can take a significant toll on the overall health and well-being of a Laborer and their family.

There are certain risk factors that may increase a person’s likelihood to develop cancer.

  • Some of these factors are controllable, such as personal habits like:
    • Diet and physical activity
    • Use of tobacco products 
    • Alcohol consumption 
  • While other factors are outside of our control, such as:
    • Family history 
    • Age, sex and race 
  • Being exposed to cancer-causing agents in our environment or in the workplace can increase risk for cancer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., followed by breast, lung and prostate cancer; these are also the four most common types of cancer in Canada. 

The LHSFNA has many publications that provide guidance on age and gender-appropriate screenings for early detection of cancer and address adopting behaviors that may lower overall cancer risk.