If you’re someone who thinks that more and more coverage about cancer is prevalent in the news, there is a simple reason why this happens: more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer every year. With over 200 types of cancer in the body (that’s almost one for every bone the body) and the rate of diagnoses going up year by year (in 2011 331,000 were diagnosed with cancer in the UK alone) cancer is reaching a level of popularity that it really shouldn’t be.
When an average of 9000 people are finding out they have cancer very day, just which types of cancer are the most popular. In this brief blog post you will find out about the most common types of cancer in the UK and how each how affects the body.
Breast cancer is first and there is a prime reason: it is the most common cancer in the UK. 1 in 8 women run the risk of being diagnosed at some point in their life. While it is more common in women over the age of 50, the rate is still alarmingly high. But just how does breast cancer come to be? All around the body are lymph nodes. These are glands which regulate how the body drains fluids and carries out other important activities. The breast is an area with a lot of these glands, as well as lobes that provide milk to the nipple. When cancer originates in the breast, these cells would have trouble carrying out their function. When they change, nearby cells are also very susceptible to acting in the same way. When the cells start to form a tumour, a quite noticeable lump can build up. When breast cancer is detected, a woman will be treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery or Herceptin (the latter is a drug which is administered like chemotherapy, but specifically targets cells in the breast).
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer type in the UK and is also the one most closely linked with lifestyle choice, specifically smoking, and comes along with some shocking statistics. For example, living with someone who smokes is thought to passively cause 11,000 deaths every year. Lung cancer is a tough one to beat because it attacks such a vital area in the body. It has the lowest survival rate of any cancer, largely due to the fact that patients are diagnosed at such a late stage. Smoking can clog up the lungs so badly that a cancerous growth can be hard to spot. Because your lungs constantly transport oxygen around the body, cancerous cells find it easier to spread from the lungs and attack other parts of the body. This is one of the reasons why it has the lowest survival rate of any cancer.
While lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer type amongst men, Prostate cancer takes 1st place and accounts for roughly a quarter of cancer in males. It is one of the luckiest cancers to get, if such a thing can be said, simply because it has a high survival rate. It is quite common for males to get it and not know as it can stay inactive for years and grow very slowly. Like breast cancer, family history can play a large part in someone being diagnosed. Other factors include ethnicity, diet and age (the risk only grows exponentially after the age of 50). It is an important cancer to treat because of the prostate’s proximity to lymph nodes around the rectum that help control how the body gets rid of everything.
This can also affect the bowel. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer and just like lung cancer can be dramatically affected by lifestyle choices. It is thought that a diet rich in red meat and lack of exercise can put enough pressure on the bowel to cause abnormalities in the cells. Without the bowel performing its function correctly, the whole digestive system has extreme difficulty working and can cause organs in the surrounding area to abandon function.
If you’d like to find out more about how to treat cancer, you can visit the London Oncology Clinic’s site at http://www.theloc.com/pursuing-excellence