Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. According to 1998 statistics from the American Cancer Society, approximately 1.2 million people are newly diagnosed with cancer and more than 500,000 people die each year from cancer in the United States. Unlike patients with cardiovascular disease, the nation’s leading killer, cancer patients have often been shrouded in a lack of understanding of the disease process, fear of transmission, lack of an inciting "event" to which to attribute morbidity and mortality, pain, and certain death. With advances in cancer therapy, including surgical, radiation, and chemotherapy options, cancer patients began to display the presence of the disease more visibly. Cachexia, hair loss, ostomies, radiation tattoos, and mastectomies are only a few examples of treatment-related stigma of cancer that are rarely seen in other disease processes.