The deadly disease with no known cure despite a surge in the advancement of technology and information, scientists are trying to develop remedies, or at least prevention strategies that can be implemented to keep cancer at bay in a patient.
More often than never, people ignore strange symptoms by dismissing it as something that will cure itself in time without realizing they are running low on time. Before they know it, they are lumped in a “stage” category where they are told how sinister the disease is and what (if anything) they can do at this point from preventing it.
Of course this is accompanied by the intense fatigue and anxiety resulting in an a inability to work, a loss of appetite leading to physical malnourishment and the emotional stress of keeping loved ones in the loop about updates.
As a preliminary guide to understanding cancer, there are several symptoms you should consult a doctor or health technician before you dismiss it as nothing: A growing lump on your body, skin changes, mole sprouting, abnormal bleeding from stools, weight loss and coughing up blood.
Biologically, cancer occurs when the helper T-cells in your body that you are dependent on for immunity are attacked and then there is uncontrollable cell division in the area.
The National Cancer Institute regards the following as the top 10 most common cancer types to beware of:
#10: Breast cancer
Globally, breast cancer is the most common cancer type in women. Breast cancer varies demographically and is the most prevalent in developed countries as compared to less developed countries.
Breast cancer in its earliest stages is detected by mammograms, where women felt an irregular lump on their chest. Notable risks of breast cancer are being female, old age, genetics, lack of childbearing, lack of breastfeeding, higher levels of specific hormones and obesity.
The most common cure to breast cancer is biopsy, in which the entire lump is removed.
A pink ribbon is now the universal symbol for breast cancer awareness day, which is celebrated worldwide in honor of struggling victims and people who lost their battle to cancer.
#9: Prostate cancer
This is a cancer that dwells mainly in the male reproductive system, in the gland called prostate. Early prostate cancer shows no symptoms but in later stages there is observed frequent urination, increased urination at night (nocturia), blood in the urine, painful urination and difficulty achieving erection and panful ejaculation.
The primary risk factors in this cancer type are age, family history and obesity. The only test that confirms the presence of this cancer is biopsy, which involves removal of parts of the prostate gland for microscopic observation.
#8: Lung cancer
ung cancer is characterized by the uncontrollable growth of cells in the lung tissue. The most common cause of this cancer type is exposure to tobacco smoke, genetic development, exposure to radon, asbestos and air-pollution (second hand smoking as well).
The type of lung cancer, the stage of development of cancer and the person’s health will determine the outcome and speed of the person’s recovery chances.
Lung cancer has led to approximately 1.56 million deaths worldwide, coming first place at the most morbid cancer type.
Symptoms are coughing up blood, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, bone pain and fatigue.
#7: Leukemia (blood cancer)
Leukemia begins in the bone marrow, proceeds to the bloodstream and results in an abnormal division of white blood cells (WBCs). Symptoms include fatigue, bleeding and bruising problems and increased risk of infections.
Risk factors are previous cancer history and chemotherapy, smoking, ionizing radiation, exposure to chemicals and Down’s syndrome.
Treatment may include a combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, bone marrow transplant and the success of surgeries depends on the type of leukemia and age of the person.
#6: Colorectal cancer (colon and rectal cancer)
Cancer develops in the colon or the rectum of the large intestineRisk factors are poor diet, smoking, a lack of physical activity, consumption of alcohol and red or processed meat. It starts out as a benign tumor that later becomes cancerous.
Bowel cancer can be diagnosed using sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, followed by medical imaging to check for the spread of the disease.
Treatments include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy and surgery. In 2012 it resulted in 1.4 million new cases and caused 694,000 deaths.
#5: Skin cancer
Three types of cancers under this category are: melanoma, basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Most cases are caused by exposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds.
Decreasing this exposure and the increase of the usage of sunscreen lotion can prevent the risk of skin cancer. It has been established that this cancer type is more prevalent among Caucasian people.
#4: Kidney cancer
The two most common types under this cancer are renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) of the renal pelvis. A mass in the abdomen, blood in the urine, a loss of appetite, a high temperature, tiredness and sweating are all symptoms.
Factors that increase the risk of kidney cancer are smoking, regular use of ibuprofen and naproxen, obesity, faulty genes, being infected by hepatitis C and previous treatment for testicular or cervical cancer.
#3: Thyroid cancer
This is a cancer originating from follicular or parafollicular cells. The most significant treatments to this are removal of the thyroid gland, radioactive iodine and TSH suppression therapy.
Thyroid Cancers are thought to be related to to a number of environmental and genetic predisposing factors, but significant uncertainty remains regarding its causes.
#2: Bladder cancer
Emerging from the epithelial lining of the urinary tract, this cancer type is caused mostly by tobacco smoking and is reduced by increasing the consumption of water daily.
A 2008 study commissioned by the World Health Organization concluded that “specific fruit and vegetables may act to reduce the risk of bladder cancer.”
#1: Endometrial cancer
This comprises of cancer arising from the uterus or endometrium. It presents itself most often with vaginal bleeding.
Globally as of 2012, endometrial cancers occurred in 320,000 people and caused 76,000 deaths. They are the most common cancers found in female reproductive tracts in developing countries.
Abnormal menstrual periods or extremely long, heavy, or frequent episodes of bleeding in premenopausal women may also signify endometrial cancer.