Top 5 Common Types of Cancer

Unfortunately, cancer is more common than many of us would like to imagine. In fact, recent research conducted by the American Cancer Society has revealed alarming results. Prostate cancer is currently the leading type of cancer diagnosed today. Breast, lung, colorectal, and melanoma cancer follow and are known to be the most common types of cancer.

1. Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is found mostly in men 50 years and older, but has the capacity to affect younger men as well. It occurs when the cells grow at a faster-than-normal pace, causing the disease to spread and invade tissue in the prostate. Most of the time, prostate cancer develops at a fairly slow rate and can be effectively treated if diagnosed early on. The importance of routine prostate cancer screening is undeniable. The ACS (American Cancer Society) reports to expect 241,740 new diagnoses of prostate cancer this year.

2. Breast Cancer

According to the ACS, approximately 229,000 new cases of breast cancer will arise in 2012. Although breast cancer affects women more commonly, men are also susceptible to developing it. Signs of breast cancer to be aware of include; firm and abnormal mass on breast, fatigue, pain in the bones, pain in the abdomen due to damage of the liver, and trouble breathing (if lungs become affected). If the central nervous system also becomes involved, headaches and seizures may manifest. Breast cancer is not preventable but can be detected at an early stage. Any unusual bumps or soreness in the chest region should be readily examined by a doctor.

3. Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related fatalities in men and women; the ACS states that it accounts for 28% of deaths caused by cancer in the U.S. Most people are diagnosed in the later stages and as a result have a lower survival rate. Today, lack of insurance is a big issue that prevents many from being diagnosed and treated for the disease. Even with the number of cases being diagnosed each year decreasing, lung cancer still remains the leading type of cancer to cause deaths.

4. Colorectal Cancer

The estimated cases of colon and rectal cancer for 2012 are 143,460. The term colorectal cancer is often used because the colon and rectum are attached and both may be affected. Cancer that starts in the large intestine can spread to the rectum, thus becoming colorectal cancer. The reason why people develop this cancer is still unknown, but some people have suggested that changes in a person's lifestyle can help reduce the risks of developing the disease. People over the age of 50 are recommended to undergo regular checkups to ensure that they do not have colorectal cancer. According to the ACS, early detection and proper treatment of the disease greatly increases the chances of survival.

5. Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (cells responsible for the pigment of skin) become affected. This year, about 76,250 people will be diagnosed with melanoma. In comparison to the other cancers, melanoma does not account for a large number of cancer-related deaths; however, the number of cases is increasing each year.

As with most diseases, cancer is impossible to completely prevent. The only thing that can be done is to take preventative measures and undergo routine checkups. Early diagnosis of any cancer is important, as it will allow the best possible treatment to be used.