October 18, 2017 By: Phillip Mazzotta
Cancer remains one of the most serious health threats facing the world. It is the second highest killer disease, with heart diseases at number one. Cancer develops when cells undergo mutation and start multiplying within the body. These abnormal cells can grow into tumors, which can be benign or malignant.
There are several types of cancer, with new mutations discovered every year. These cancer types can affect any age group, and is common in both men as well as women. The exact cause of cancerous growth is still unknown, and several factors like age, genetics, lifestyle, exposure to chemicals or radiation, viral illnesses etc. Here is the list of top 10 deadliest cancer that affects people all across the world. By knowing about the signs and symptoms of these killer cancers, you will be more vigilant in recognizing the disease at an early stage.
Lung cancer tops the list of ten deadliest cancers. It accounts for 28.3% of all cancer-related deaths and is responsible for around 1.5 million deaths every year. Two of the most common cancers related to respiratory system are lung and bronchial cancer. They are caused by various tobacco products sold in the market. Lung cancer is characterized by difficulty in breathing, chronic coughing, blood in sputum, wheezing, chest pain and fatigue. It can be diagnosed by chest radiograpy, CT scans and biopsy.
The second most killer cancer is the cancer of colon and rectum, which accounts for 9.6% of such fatalities. Colon cancer is mainly seen in elderly people above the age of sixties. Smoking, alcohol consumption, high red meat diet and genetic inheritance are the major factors that increase the risk to the condition. If the cancer growth is confined to colon, the condition is treatable. However, if it spreads to lymph nodes, the survival rate is just 48 percent. The symptoms of colon cancer depend upon the location of growth. Colon cancer around anal region is characterized by change in bowel movements, unsatisfactory motions, gastrointestinal bleeding and alternate constipation and diarrhea.
Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer found in women, and is responsible for 7.4% of cancer-related deaths. Breast cancer affects nearly 200 thousand people in US every year, majority of which are women. Breast cancer begins with uncontrollable growth of cells in breast, forming a mass of cells called tumor. A tumor may be cancerous or it may be benign. A cancerous tumor can grow and spread to other parts of the body whereas, benign tumor doesn’t pose such threat. Breast cancer can spread to the other parts of body through blood vessels or lymph vessels.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancer that accounts for 6 percent of cancer deaths all across the world. Pancreatic cancer is known as a silent killer, as it has very few discernible symptoms that are often misdiagnosed or ignored. The condition has a very poor prognosis as compared to other types of cancer, and only 6 percent of cases survive after five years. The symptoms include loss of appetite, pain in stomach, signs of jaundice, mood swings and depression and diabetes.
Bladder cancer is not a very common type of cancer and nearly 75 thousand Americans are diagnosed with this disease annually. Bladder, like most other parts/organs of urinary tract, has lining comprising of a layer of cells known as urothelium. Bladder cancer is usually caused by uncontrolled growth of these urothelial cells, forming a tumor. A benign tumor doesn’t spread while a malignant tumor can spread to other parts of the body. If not detected and treated on time, then it can spread to uterus or vagina in women and to prostate in men. It can also spread through pelvic lymph nodes, and can impact lungs, liver, bones etc.
Every year nearly 200 thousand cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in US alone. This is the most common form of cancer in men accounting for 5.1 percent of total ancer deaths. Prostate cancer is usually diagnosed in men above 50 years of age. Prostate is a gland that is found at the base of the bladder and is part of the reproductive system in men. The main function of prostate is to make the seminal fluid, the fluid part of semen that helps in carrying and protecting the sperm. This cancer develops in the tissues inside the gland and can spread to the other parts of body as well.
Liver cancer accounts for three percent of the total cancer deaths. It is one of the scariest cancer diagnoses, with a five year survival rate of just 10 percent. The symptoms of liver cancer are not very clear and often ignored by the patient. The warning signs include anemia, fatigue, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, nausea, vomiting and pain in the right shoulder or upper abdomen. Alcohol consumption and obesity are the two major risk factors for this deadliest cancer.
Oesophagial cancer is also among the list of top ten deadliest cancers, with 2.4 percent of total cancer deaths. It is characterized by a lump in the throat that does not go away. Other warning signs include pain in the chest, difficulty in swallowing, weight loss and hiccups. Some of the risk factors for oesophageal cancer are consumption of high acid diet, smoking and barrets oesophagus. Diagnosis of this condition is done by various types of imaging studies like Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Endoscopic ultrasonography, CT scan of abdomen and chest, Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, Bronchoscopy and Barium Swallow.
According to the NCI, ovarian cancer was the fourth cause of cancer death in women between 2003 and 2007. Ovarian cancer has 2.7 percent killer rate, and is often not diagnosed in the early stages. The cancer of ovaries is also caused by metastasis of cancerous cells from other types of body cancers- such as cancer from breast, colon, endometrium, cervix and stomach. Ovarian cancer presents itself with a wide range of vague symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, abdominal distension, shortness of breath, weight loss, loss of appetite, indigestion and vaginal bleeding. Ovarian cancer is treatable, but due to late diagnosis, the prognosis becomes poor. The presence of advanced ovarian cancer is diagnosed on clinical grounds.
Headache is the most common symptom of brain cancer. Although chronic headaches are common, brain cancer is not a very common condition. It stands last in the list of leading killer cancers accounting for nearly 2.3 percent deaths due to cancer. Other symptoms of brain tumor include nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, problems of balance, seizures, tingling of arms or legs, drowsiness and behavior changes. Brain cancer mainly occurs more frequently in people in age group of 55 and 65. Overuse of cell phone and repeated CAT scans are some of the factors that trigger this condition.