The Three Most Common Cancer Types

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According to statistics reported by the World Cancer Research Fund, there were about 1 million cases of cancer around the world in 2018. Of this number, 12% of cases were reported to be breast cancer. The prevalence of this type of cancer around the world has prompted many developed countries to make breast cancer screening a crucial part of their various cancer control strategies.

A survey panel for breast cancer showed that this type of cancer had 279,100 sufferers in 2020. This figure is in the US alone. Next to it, the most common is lung cancer followed by prostate cancer.

Breast Cancer

This affects both men and women, but women are more predisposed to suffer from this illness. Symptoms include an inverted nipple, redness or pitting of skin around the breasts, lump in the breast, dimpling, and scaling, crusting, peeling, or flaking of skin surrounding the areola. The following are the risk factors associated with an increased risk of suffering from breast cancer:

  • Increasing age. The risk of getting breast cancer increase as people age.
  • Being female. Women are more likely to get breast cancer according to studies.
  • Radiation exposure. Those who had received radiation treatments to their chest during their childhood years are at high risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Never experiencing pregnancy. Studies have shown that women who have never been pregnant are at high risk of getting this disease.
  • Alcohol can increase the risk for this disease.
  • Obesity can lead to many health conditions and breast cancer is one of them.
  • Hormonal therapy in post-menopausal women. Hormone therapy medications containing a combination of estrogen and progesterone can increase the risk of women for breast cancer.

Giving birth at an older age and having a history of this disease in the family also raises a person’s risk of getting this deadly disease.

Lung Cancer

This cancer type is among the leading causes of death worldwide. Several factors can lead to this condition, but smoking and breathing in toxic substances are among the most prominent reasons. Other reasons include Radon exposure, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and breathing in particle pollution. Genetics also plays a crucial part.

The symptoms of lung cancer are often not visible until the illness is at an advanced phase. Even when symptoms do appear, they may be mistaken for other health problems, which may delay proper diagnosis. Symptoms include relentless coughing, recurring chest infections, loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss, coughing up blood, painful breathing and coughing, persistent feelings of fatigue, and incessant breathlessness.

Doctors may perform several exams to diagnose lung cancer in a patient. Tests include biopsy, sputum cytology, and imaging tests. Once the doctor comes up with a diagnosis, determining the stage of cancer will follow. Knowing what stage the cancer is in will help the doctor decide the type of treatment that must be given to the patient. Treatment can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, stereotactic body radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and palliative care,

Prostate Cancer

This type of cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in the prostate gland. Some types, though, can spread far, affecting parts other than the prostate gland. The cause of this cancer type is not yet known but studies have found risk factors that can lead to this condition. These include the following:

  • Those who are 50 above are at high risk of getting prostate cancer.
  • Being African-American. Studies have shown that men of African-American origin are at higher risk of getting this disease than white men.
  • Smoking
  • Having a family history of ovarian and breast cancer
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity

Prostate cancer may show no signs or symptoms, especially when the cancer is at an early stage. Men who have advanced stage of this cancer may feel symptoms, such as difficulty urinating, bone pains, and bloody urine.

Doctors diagnose this condition by performing tests, which include the digital rectal examination and prostate-specific antigen blood test. Doctors may also use blood and new urinary biomarkers to examine men who are at high risk of having this cancer type.

Apart from these three types of cancer, other common types include skin cancer, colorectal cancer, and stomach cancer.

All cancer types, even those not included in this article, are deadly and can cost people their financial freedom. The good news is that these illnesses can be prevented by avoiding the risk factors associated with them. Having a healthy and active lifestyle can also help. If symptoms are noticed, it is recommended to seek professional help immediately for early detection of the disease.

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