Cancer. There’s a reason people dread hearing the bad “C-word” from their doctor: it’s a deadly disease. In fact, cancer is the top cause of death right behind heart attacks and strokes.
If you’ve never known anyone who died of cancer, you can consider yourself lucky. Most people have family members, friends, or colleagues who developed cancer and died. Cancer is the leading cause of death in the world. There are many different treatments depending on which type of cancer it is, so it’s important to know the worst types of cancer to know how to treat it.
This list contains the top ten worst types of cancer to have:
1. Lung Cancer (154,000 deaths each year)
Lung and bronchial cancer is the worst type of cancer to have. The use of tobacco products are the major cause, and those between the ages of 55 and 65 are hardest-hit. There are two types of lung cancer: non-small, which is the most common type, and small cell lunch cancer, which spreads more quickly than the non-small type.
In the year 2018, 154,050 Americans died from lung cancer.
2. Colon and Rectal Cancer (100,000 deaths each year)
The location of the cancer within the digestive tract dictates if it’s colon or rectal cancer. Rectal cancer involves cancer in the last few inches of the large intestine whereas colon cancer appears in the colon tissues. Screening is the most important part of detection and treatment because these types of cancer usually start out as small polyps, which are benign, that become cancerous over time. Screening can mean the difference between life and death.
Approximately 100,000 people are expected to die from colon and rectal cancer in the U.S. each year.
3. Leukemia (58,000 deaths each year)
Leukemia affects any blood-forming tissues of the body, like the lymphatic system and bone marrow. It causes an over-production of abnormal white blood cells. The type of leukemia that kills the most people is called acute myelogenous leukemia.
58,100 people were leukemia cancer victims in the U.S. in 2018.
4. Pancreatic Cancer (55,000 deaths each year)
The pancreas aids in digestion and metabolism regulation. Pancreatic cancer often grows quickly and without symptoms so detection and early treatment are important. Pancreatic cancer also happens to have the highest mortality rate among the major cancers; it’s responsible for around seven percent of all cancer deaths.
Around 55,400 people have fallen victim to pancreatic cancer in 2018.
5. Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer (42,000 deaths)
Liver cancer is among the most common types of cancer around the world as it is the sixth-most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, and although it isn’t as common in Canada as elsewhere, diagnoses in Canada are on the rise. In fact, it’s one of the fastest rising cancers in the country.
Liver cancer typically has a poor prognosis; the five-year survival rate is only 20 percent. One way to reduce the incidence of liver cancer is to find and treat people who have hepatitis infections before they become chronic, since chronic infection can lead to cancer. Other factors linked to liver cancer are diabetes, obesity, and smoking.
According to the National Cancer Institute, 42,200 people have died from this type of cancer in 2018.
6. Breast Cancer (41,000 deaths each year)
The second most common cancer in women is breast cancer, after lung cancer. Men can also get breast cancer, of course, but it occurs much more frequently in women. For women, the cancer usually starts in the milk ducts or the milk glands.
In 2018, 40,920 American women will have died from breast cancer during the year.
7. Prostate Cancer (29,000 deaths each year)
Prostate is the second-leading cause of death among men after lung and bronchial cancer. Prostate starts off slowly in the prostate gland where seminal fluid is produced. The kinds of cancer that stay in the gland are generally easier to treat, but if the cancer spreads outside of the gland, it tends to be more aggressive and spreads quickly.
In the United States, almost 29,4000 people were expected to die from prostate cancer in 2018.
8. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (20,000 deaths each year)
This type of cancer attacks the lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cell. There are a few different types, and they are sorted based on if the cancer is slow- or fast-growing and what kind of lymphocytes it affects. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more deadly than Hodgkin lymphoma.
There were around 20,000 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma deaths in 2018.
9. Esophageal Cancer (16,000 deaths each year)
Esophageal cancer starts to grow in the cells that line the esophagus, usually at the lower part. More men than women die from this type of cancer. Early signs of this type of cancer include: unexpected weight loss, minor difficulty swallowing, chronic heartburn, chest pain, chronic coughing, back and throat pain, regurgitating food, hoarse voice, fatigue, pain when swallowing food, hiccups, black stools, excess saliva.
Another symptom is Barrett’s esophagus, which is a condition that causes the tissue in the esophagus to be replaced with the wrong kind of tissue. GERD causes a higher risk for Barrett’s esophagus, and it is also a risk factor for cancer.
There have been 16,080 deaths from esophageal cancer in 2018.
10. Ovarian Cancer (14,000 deaths each year)
Ovarian cancer is easy to treat but hard to detect in early stages, but new research has just out of the Mayo Clinic lately revealed that there are some early symptoms that can aid in diagnosis. These symptoms include pelvic pain, abdominal discomfort, and urgency to urinate.
In 2018, 14,070 deaths were recorded for breast cancer in the United States.
All in all, there are more than 200 worst types of cancer. It’s important to diagnose cancer as soon as possible, because it is usually smaller and easier to treat before it has a chance to spread.