Cancer Incidence and Staging

The following cancers account for 72.2% of all the cases that are diagnosed throughout the world.

1. Lung Cancer: there are various types of lung cancer but the most common is “non-small cell lung cancer.” The primary cause of lung cancer is from smoking, with a secondary cause coming from radon poisoning. It affects the alveoli and can spread to other tissues rapidly. It has one of the lowest survival rates and claims more than 1.5 million lives every year worldwide and represents 13% of all cancer cases.

2. Liver Cancer: This cancer took the lives of 745,000 people globally in 2012 and represents 5.6% of all cancer cases.  The liver processes all your blood (which is the preferred mode of transportation for cancerous cells), so most cases of liver cancer are secondary- as in the cells started growing elsewhere and then migrated to the liver. If cancer starts in the liver, the cause is usually the result of alcohol abuse, a birth defect, or due to a chronic infection such as hepatitis B or C.

3. Stomach Cancer: Results in more than 720,000 deaths per year. This type of cancer affects the lining of the stomach and usually goes undetected at the earliest stage. The longer it takes to diagnosis and treat the poorer the prognosis will be. Stomach cancer represents about 6.8% of all cancer cases. Diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption are believed to elevate your risk for this particular form of cancer. If you have ongoing stomach distress that includes nausea, heartburn, bloating, or pain you should talk with your doctor.

4. Colorectal Cancer: Cancer found in the colon or the rectum results in the death of almost 700,000 people annually. It is the second highest cause of cancer death in the United States – making up 9.7% of all cancer cases. If caught early the survival rates are excellent. Early screening is crucial since there are often no symptoms until the cancerous cells have multiplied and spread to other organs.

5. Breast Cancer: Breast cancer occurs in the breast tissues of both males and females and claims the lives of more than 500,000 people every year.  11.9% of all cancer cases are found in the breast and it is the second most common cancer that is diagnosed in women (after skin cancer).  A malignant tumor growing in this tissue can easily spread to other parts of the body if it is left untreated.  Regular screening and early detection through mammography have not decreased the cases of breast cancer nor have they improved its rates of survival.

6. Esophageal Cancer: Throat cancer claims the lives of more than 400,000 people every year and represents 3.2% of all cancer cases. The top causes of esophageal cancers are smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, and poor diet. If you are a smoker who also drinks regularly,  your risk will be much higher. Screening for this form of cancer is complicated and can cause damage to the food pipe during the diagnostic procedure.

7. Cervical Cancer:  This cancer claimed 528,000 lives and represents 3.7% of all cancers. The cervix is located at the lower end of the uterus and opens into the upper portion of the vaginal canal. Cells in this area can undergo changes that may go undetected over time. Doctors utilize a Pap test in order to check for cancer or for pre-cancerous cells of the cervix. Early detection is critical since there may be no symptoms of cervical cancer until it has spread.

8. Prostate Cancer: There may be no signs or symptoms of prostate cancer until it has spread to other areas of the body, and this is the main reason why it claims about 1.1 million people annually and accounts for 7.9% of all diagnosed cancer cases.

9. Bladder Cancer: Can cause discomfort during urination so it is usually detected earlier than many other forms of cancer. Yet, even with early detection and treatment, it still claims the lives of 430,000 people every year and represents 3.1% of all diagnosed cancer cases. Follow up care is important to ensure that there is no recurrence.

10. Pancreatic Cancer: This cancer is aggressive and there are few symptoms of the disease until it is advanced. Abdominal pain, jaundice, and unexplained weight loss are signs that sometimes present themselves to some patients. Pancreatic cancer claims the lives of 338,000 people yearly and represents 2.4% of all cancer cases.

11. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: This cancer starts in the white blood cells of your lymphatic system (which is the core of your immune system). Abdominal pain, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes of the armpits, neck, and groin are symptoms that some patients have reported. This cancer claims the lives of more than 386,000 people annually worldwide, and represents 2.4% of all cancer cases.

12. Leukemia: Is a cancer of the blood cells that begins in your bone marrow (where most blood cells are produced). Leukemia represents 2.5% of cancer cases globally and causes the deaths of 352,000 people annually. Leukemia involves the production of abnormal white blood cells which are the cells that are responsible for fighting infection. However, the abnormal cells in leukemia do not function in the same way as healthy white blood cells. The leukemia cells continue to grow and divide, eventually crowding out the normal blood cells. The end result is that it becomes difficult for the body to fight infections, control bleeding, and transport oxygen.

The Four Stages of Cancer

the stages of cancer1. Stage 0: This is used to describe cancer in-situ, which means “in place.” Cancers at this stage are identified according to the location where they initially emerged and multiplied. However, the resulting tumor has not yet spread to the nearby tissues and can be removed with surgical means. The prognosis for Stage 0 cancers is very high.

2. Stage 1: At this stage, the cancer cells have gained the ability to pass through the “basement membrane,” which is the thin, fibrous boundary of the tissue in which the cancer began and then start to invade the neighboring tissues.  This cancer has not yet spread into the lymphatic system and so it is referred to as an “early stage” cancer.  Surgical removal as well as complementary and alternative treatment options are a consideration at this time, as well as making changes to the diet, lifestyle, and personal habits in order to fight this cancer and prevent its return.

3. Stage 2 and 3: Once a cancer cell has invaded, a common next step is for one of its daughter cells to invade through a lymph vessel (which is similar to a blood vessel and carries the clear fluid called lymph).  It is here that the cancerous cell might get caught in a lymph node where it might provoke an immune response against it (which will result in its destruction). If that doesn’t happen, it will divide and form into a lump in one or more lymph nodes. This stage is often referred to as regional spread. That is, the cancer has spread within the general region in which it first began but not to other parts of the body.   Stage 2 and 3 cancers are a more serious concern, but the cancer has not yet spread to the other organs of the body.  Boosting your immune system is crucial at this level.  Complementary and alternative treatment options should be given top priority at this time, as well as making permanent changes to the diet, lifestyle, and personal habits in order to fight this cancer and prevent its return.

4. Stage 4: In the previous example, the cells that formed the lump in the lymph nodes have now spread further through the lymph vessels and have also entered the blood stream.  Once in the blood stream, the cancer cells can go just about anywhere in the body to form new colonies and spread further into the other organs of the body. Stage 4 is referred to as a “distant spread cancer”, advanced cancer, or metastatic cancer. This type of cancer is much more difficult to treat. Boosting your immune system is now of critical importance.  Complementary and alternative treatment options should be given top priority at this time, as well as making permanent changes to the diet, lifestyle, and personal habits in order to fight this cancer from all fronts  and have a better chance at achieving long-term survival.

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