Cancer is endemic disease in our society and it seems to be getting out of hand. In 2012, over 14.1 million new cases of cancer occurred worldwide. Cancer deaths represented 14.6% of the total human deaths in the same year. It is time for us to know more about this deadly disease so that we can find ways of fighting it. Here is a comprehensive list of the 10 most common cancers types.

1. Skin Cancer

Skin cancer accounts for over 40% of all cases of cancer in the world making it the most common type of cancer in the world. There are two main categories of skin cancer i.e. melanoma cancer and non-melanoma cancer. In 2012, there were 232,000 cases of melanoma cancer worldwide resulting in over 55,000 deaths. Non-melanoma cancer is less lethal but it affects 2-3 million people each year.

2. Lung Cancer

Lung cancer, technically known as pulmonary carcinoma causes more than 1.56 million deaths each year making it the most lethal type of cancer known to man. A strong connection exists between lung cancer and smoking tobacco. In fact, smoking tobacco causes 80-90% of all lung cancer cases. There were 1,824,701 new cases of lung cancer reported in 2012.

3. Breast Cancer

Breast cancer affects both men and women but it is more likely to affect women than men. In fact, breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than it is in men. There were over 1.68 million new cases of breast cancer in 2012 while the same year saw over 522,000 deaths attributed to breast cancer. It is important for you to note that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women accounting for about 25% of all cancer cases in women worldwide. Signs of this cancer include changes in breast shape, fluids coming from the nipple, dimpling skin or scaly skin patches.

4. Colon Cancer

Colon cancer occurs when there is abnormal cell growth in a person’s rectum and colon. It can easily spread to other parts of the large intestine if not treated in time. Symptoms of this cancer include changes in bowel movements, fatigue, bloody stools and weight loss. This cancer makes up 10% of all cancer cases in the world. It led to the deaths of more than 694,000 people in 2012 with nearly 1.4 million new cases of the same cancer reported in that year. Increasing age, obesity, improper diet and poor lifestyle choices e.g. smoking are the main causes of colon cancer.

5. Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men after lung cancer and it is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in men. Documented cases of prostate cancer totaled to slightly over 1.1 million cases in 2012. Deaths from this same cancer in the same year totaled to 307,000 deaths. Ninety-nine percent of prostate cancer cases occur in men above 50 years old. You should also note that African American men are more susceptible to this disease than Caucasian men are. Finally, you should know that a history of the disease in the family increases the risk of developing the same condition by 2 to 3 fold.

6. Stomach Cancer

New reports of stomach cancer amounted to 950,000 new cases in 2012, the same year that saw the death of more than 723,000 people because of this medical condition. This cancer makes up 7% of all cancer cases and results in 9% of all cancer deaths. Symptoms for it include nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, yellow skin and weight loss while common causes include smoking, eating pickled vegetables, hereditary factors and more importantly, infection by Helicobacter pylori. Infection by Helicobacter pylori accounts for over 60% of all stomach cancer cases.

7. Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is an extremely dangerous type of cancer that can easily result in death. For example, 782,000 cases of liver cancer existed in 2012 leading to 746,000 deaths. The high rate of death among liver cancer patients makes it the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. Symptoms of liver cancer include yellow skin, abdominal pain, abdominal mass, liver dysfunction and nausea but doctors mostly discover liver cancer in their patients when they conduct routine medical imaging procedures. Hepatitis C or hepatitis B viruses are responsible for the majority of liver cancer cases in the world.

8. Cervical Cancer

This is the most devastating type of cancer in developing countries for it is the most common cause of cancer related deaths in those countries. Developing countries also endure the most of this cancer type because 70% of all cervical cancer cases occur in low income countries. The Human papillomavirus is responsible for 90% of cervical cancer cases but other causes include the use of birth control pills, multiple sexual partners and engaging in sex from an early age. Symptoms of this cancer include pain while having sex, vaginal bleeding and/or pelvic pain. Seeking treatment quickly for cervical cancer is important because it can spread to other parts of the body easily.

9. Esophageal Cancer

This is also one of the 10 most common cancers types. It occurs in the esophagus i.e. the food-pipe where food moves from the throat into the stomach. People with this type of cancer have a hard time swallowing food and they can develop a hoarse voice over time. They also experience weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes around their collarbone, dry coughs and at times, vomit or blood while coughing. More than 345,000 cases of esophageal cancer occurred in 1990 but this number went up to 456,000 in 2012. More than half of these cases occur in China and in general, it affects more men than women.

10. Bladder Cancer

This cancer affects the urinary bladder. More than 430,000 new cases of this disease occurred in 2012 making it one of the 10 most common cancers types. The most pervasive form of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma. In this disease, abnormal cells increase rapidly within the urinary bladder inhibiting its function and making it difficult for affected person to control his or her flow of urine. Symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in urine, pain while urinating, frequent urination and inability to urinate even when feeling the need to do so. Tobacco smoking is the most common cause of bladder cancer.


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Robert Gombos

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