Cancer will kill 5.5 million women each year by the year 2030. How do we stop this trend?
In the last two decades, our fight against cancer has been promising with advancements in science and technology that enable us to improve both prevention and treatment efforts. However, we still have a long way to go. In a recent report, one group is particularly vulnerable to the effects of cancer, women. A review from the American Cancer Society, in collaboration with Merck, the global pharmaceutical company, reports 5.5 million women will die from cancers that can be prevented, by the year 2030.
This study also indicates there is a possibility of these numbers growing due to an increase in the number of aged populations all over the world. Cancer is a range of diseases that involves abnormal cellular growth (tumor). These abnormal cells then have the potential to invade and/or spread to other parts of the body. However, it should be noted that not all tumors are cancerous.
Common types of cancer killing Women
Although cancer takes many forms, these are the most common types that claim women’s lives:
Cancer that involves the cells of the skin is categorized into two types: melanoma and non-melanoma. Non-melanoma cancer is the most common form of cancer and is easily treatable and curable. On the other hand, melanoma is the most serious type of cancer. Approximately 5% of people diagnosed with skin cancer are diagnosed with melanoma. 75% of all skin cancer-related deaths. are attributed to melanoma.
This type accounts for almost 28% of all cancer deaths. Shockingly the 5-year survival rate of individuals diagnosed with cancer is only 16%. The rate of survival increases with early diagnosis and treatment. Lung cancer has been linked to cigarette smoking; both active 1st hand and passive, 2nd hand smoke.
Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the second most common diagnosed cancer in women. The risk increases for women past menopause (55 years and upward).Colorectal cancer
This cancer affects the two regions of the digestive system, the colon and rectum. This form of cancer doesn’t discriminate between the sexes, it impacts both men and women. It is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed and it accounts for a total of 9% of all cancer deaths.
Kidney (renal) cancer
This cancer is often found among the obese and tobacco smoking groups. It also affects those suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension). It accounts for only a handful of deaths each year. Even though it is not common a common type of cancer, overweight people and those diagnosed with hypertension should visit their doctor for a regular screening and check-up.
Urinary Bladder cancer, has a survival rate of 80% percent. Treatment sometimes involves surgery coupled with or without other treatments. A common symptom to be on the lookout – is blood in urine.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
This is a cancer affecting the lymph nodes. A common symptom is swollen lymph nodes that are sometimes painful. Studies suggest 30 different kinds of this cancer exist.
This type of cancer affects the Thyroid gland in the neck. 3 out of 4 cases of thyroid cancer diagnosis occur in women. This is the most rapidly rising form of cancer among women. A neck lump is the most common symptom. However, it should not be confused with gout, another medical condition affecting the thyroid gland. Deaths attributed to this cancer type are increasing dramatically. Unfortunately, edging its way onto the list of the most deadly cancers today.
This cancer affects the lining of the uterus. Abnormal bleeding that is not menstrual, is often an early sign of endometrial cancer. This type is exclusive to women. Early diagnosis helps in the effective treatment and increases the likelihood of survival. Depending on the stage of the cancer, various treatments are employed, and may include surgery, hormone treatments, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Some other cancers that are common among women include cervical and ovarian cancer.
Pancreatic cancer (also known as exocrine cancer) has a survival rate of 25% after one year of diagnosis and sadly only a 6% percent after five years of diagnosis. As such, this cancer should be monitored closely on a regular basis.
Cancer of the White Blood Cells or Leukemia, is also fairly common.
Cancer is killing 1 in 7 women globally and in all the types listed above. The five deadliest among women are breast, lung, cervical and colorectal cancers, and thyroid cancer.
What can we do to stop cancer from killing?
Women are dying unnecessarily every year. This cannot be ignored. The staggering numbers forecasted for 2030 are indeed a cause for concern. Lowering the costs for cancer diagnosis and treatment would be beneficial. Improving the availability of services, increasing the effectiveness of treatment through investments into research and drug development would also increase the rate of survival.
Strongest prevention method: eat primarily plant-based, whole-foods.
Better yet, focus on preventing cancer from occurring in the first place. Healthy eating, stress management, regular activity, and maintaining a healthy weight would greatly reduce the risk of developing cancer. Research consistently finds eating a wide variety of primarily plant-based, whole foods, (especially deep green and dark pigmented colors) to be one of the strongest prevention measures available.
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