Cancer is a word we hear all too often. The word itself invokes feelings of fear and this is only compounded by the difficulty of going through treatment. It is also quite difficult to pinpoint during early asymptomatic stages, during which the chances of curing it are higher.
One in four people in developed countries will developer cancer at some point in their lives. The United States is not an exception, for cancer is a major public health problem and is the second leading cause of death in the United States according to the CDC. It is estimated that in 2017, 1,688,780 new cancer patients will emerge, and over 600,920 deaths from cancer will occur. In this article, we’ll investigate which cancers are still increasing in prevalence in the United States.
Breast cancer (255,180 cases)
Identifying symptoms of breast cancer:
Breast cancer is by far the most common malignancy among women in the United States. 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. While it is obviously much more common in women, breast cancer can also affect men. The frequency of breast cancer among men is approximately 1% of the total number of breast cancer cases among women. This means that men are almost 100 times less likely to acquire breast cancer. Typically, such cancer develops in the ducts or the glands. However, there is good news. Breast cancer, which is identified at the earliest stages, nowadays, has an extremely high chance of long term survival. The bad news is that breast cancer rates as a whole are increasing, partly due to the ageing populations of developed nations worldwide.
Lung and Bronchus cancer (222,500 cases)
During the last 20 years in the United States, there have been significant breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. But cancer is still the second cause of mortality, claiming nearly 600,000 lives per year. Lung cancer is a form of the disease with an alarmingly high death rate over 5, 10 and 15 year horizons. Smoking and tobacco products are the main causes the formation of lung cancer, and people between the ages of 55-65 are the most susceptible. There are two principal types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell cancers. Non-smokers that are around tobacco smoke may still acquire lung cancer due to second-hand smoke. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to give up smoking and avoid contact with people who do smoke. If you smoke, you should try to get rid of this addiction.
Prostate Cancer (161,360 cases)
In the United States, cancer of the prostate is the third most common cause of death from malignant tumors, although many cases in older males go undiagnosed. One of the main features of prostate cancer is that the malignant tumor develops slowly, and noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer are incredibly hard to catch. Symptoms of this form of cancer need to be treated with special care as many sufferers are elderly and unable to tolerate highly invasive treatments like chemotherapy.
Science hasn’t pinpointed the exact causes of prostate cancer. A malignant tumor usually develops as a result of changes in the DNA of prostate cells. Scientists are having a hard time of figuring out what causes these changes in one’s DNA but research efforts are extensive.
However, it has been determined that age is a big factor in men. The older a man is, the higher his chances of acquiring prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is rare for individuals under the age of 40; it is more common after 50 and the risk gradually increases. Heredity factors also play a role: there have been several studies that have concluded that the risk of prostate cancer nearly doubles if an individual has direct close blood relatives that have suffered from prostate cancer.
Colon Cancer (135,430 cases)
It is surprising for many to hear that colon cancer is equally common among men and women, affecting approximately the same amount of people from both genders. Though colorectal cancer is growing, it is almost entirely curable. However, it’s best to start screening for signs of colon cancer as early as possible.
The risk of colon cancer increases with age. After the age of 50, the chances of falling ill with colon cancer start to gradually increase. However, apart from age, there are some factors that can predispose an individual to colon cancer. Information about risk factors for colorectal cancer are quite extensive yet occasionally contradictory; however, researchers haved posited and investigated a number of factors:
• Alcohol Abuse
• Social status and environment
• Living conditions
• Eating habits (eating high-calorie, fatty foods)
Melanoma of the skin (87,110 cases)
Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer. Cancer grows in pigment cells that are known as melanocytes. The main cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet light rays or UV rays. Melanoma usually shows up in spots on the skin. Caucasian individuals are the most susceptible to melanoma.
The only way to treat melanoma is through surgical intervention. It is quite easy to prevent in its early stages. Patients are usually the first ones to notice signs of skin cancer due to it being visible on the surface of the skin.