Cancer is a scary word for most people. The thought of having cancer or knowing someone who has cancer can be terrifying. But the truth is, cancer is not as mysterious as it seems.
There are many things that you can do to lower your risk of getting cancer, and there are also many things that doctors wish you knew about cancer. In this article, we will discuss 18 important facts about cancer that everyone should know!
The Things Doctors Wish You Knew About Cancer
Doctors have seen it all when it comes to cancer. They know what to look for, how to treat it, and how to help you recover. Yet even they wish that people knew more about cancer- like the risk factors, early warning signs, and available treatments.
By being better informed about cancer, you can take a more active role in your health and get the care you need should cancer be diagnosed. So read on for some eye-opening facts about this devastating disease.
#1 – Why are you still smoking
If there is one behavior that increases the risk of cancer the most, it’s smoking. Doctors see firsthand the damage that smoking can do to the body, and they wish more people would quit.
Smoking is linked to at least a dozen different types of cancer, including lung cancer, throat cancer, and stomach cancer. It’s also one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
If you smoke, the best thing you can do for your health is to quit. Talk to your doctor about quitting methods and find one that works for you.
#2 – Cancer doesn’t mean low quality of life
A cancer diagnosis can be scary, and it’s natural to worry about your health and your future. But it’s important to remember that most people with cancer live long, healthy lives.
In fact, the survival rate for most types of cancer is quite high. For example, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 90%, and the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is 70%.
So, while a cancer diagnosis may be daunting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your life will be drastically different or that you won’t be able to live a long and healthy life.
#3 – Cancer doesn’t need to be cured
While the goal of cancer treatment is to cure the disease, this isn’t always possible. But that doesn’t mean that treatment isn’t worth it.
Even if cancer can’t be cured, treatment can still help to control the disease and extend your life. In some cases, it may even be possible to put cancer into remission, which means that there are no active cancer cells in your body.
If you’re told that your cancer can’t be cured, it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor so that you can make the best decision for you.
#4 – More people survive than die of cancer
Cancer is often thought of as a death sentence, but the truth is that more and more people are surviving cancer thanks to early detection and advances in treatment.
In fact, the survival rate for all cancers has increased by nearly 20% over the past two decades.
If you’re diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and that there is hope.
#5 – Cancer is not one disease
Cancer isn’t just one disease- it’s many diseases
Cancer is not just one disease – it’s actually a group of more than 100 different diseases.
Each type of cancer has its own unique set of symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options.
For example, breast cancer and skin cancer are two very different diseases with different causes, symptoms, and treatments.
#6 – Some cancers are caused by viruses
In some cases, cancer is caused by viruses.
For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause cervical cancer.
Other types of viruses that can cause cancer include the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
These viruses are spread through contact with infected blood or body fluids.
Most people who are infected with these viruses don’t develop cancer, but in some cases, the virus can cause changes in the DNA of cells that lead to cancer.
#7 – Many treatments simply control the cancer
Cancer treatments have come a long way, but there’s still no surefire cure for the disease.
In many cases, treatment can only control cancer, not cure it.
This means that cancer may come back at some point after treatment.
Some types of cancer, such as leukemia, are more likely to come back than others.
Even when cancer does come back, there are often treatments that can help control it.
#8 – Why is cancer so hard to beat
Cancer is hard to beat for a number of reasons.
First, cancer cells are very good at evading the body’s immune system.
They also have the ability to spread throughout the body and form new tumors.
Finally, cancer cells are often resistant to treatment.
This means that even if treatments can kill some cancer cells, the remaining cells can often regrow and continue to cause problems.
#9 – Few cancers are diagnosed by chance
In reality, most cancers are diagnosed because of symptoms that lead a person to see a doctor.
Sometimes, cancer is found incidentally when a person is being treated for something else.
For example, a chest X-ray taken for pneumonia might show unsuspected lung cancer
But even in these cases, it’s usually the symptoms that led to the imaging test in the first place.
#10 – Some cancer have strong family associations
This is especially true for cancers of the breast, ovary, colon, and endometrium. If you have a family member with one of these cancers, your risk is higher than the general population.
You should be aware of your family history and discuss it with your doctor. In some cases, genetic testing can be done to see if you have inherited a predisposition to certain cancers. This information can help guide your cancer screening and risk reduction strategies.
If you do have a family history of cancer, don’t panic. Remember, just because you are at higher risk does not mean that you will definitely get the disease.
There are many things you can do to reduce your risk. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to stay healthy and lower your risk of cancer.
#11 – The overall cancer death rate has fallen over the years
The good news is that the overall cancer death rate has fallen over the years. In the United States, the death rate from cancer declined by 27% between 1991 and 2016. While this is great news, it doesn’t mean that cancer isn’t still a major problem.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US, accounting for about 22% of all deaths. In 2017, an estimated 14.
#12 – Skin cancers are increasingly being found in young people
Skin cancers are increasingly being found in young people. This is likely due to exposure to UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds. melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, has been on the rise for the past 30 years.
If you notice any changes in your skin, be sure to see a doctor right away. Early detection is key to successful treatment.
#13 – Suntan booths are dangerous
Suntan booths are dangerous. The UV radiation emitted from these devices is much stronger than the sun’s rays. One study found that people who used tanning beds were 74% more likely to develop melanoma.
If you want to get a tan, it’s best to do it the old-fashioned way – in the sun. Be sure to use sunscreen, and limit your time in the sun to prevent skin damage.
#14 – Men are more likely to develop some skin cancers
Men are more likely to develop some skin cancers, including melanoma. This may be due to the fact that men are more likely to have jobs that expose them to sunlight or other UV radiation.
If you’re a man, be sure to take extra care of your skin. Check for any changes regularly, and see a doctor if you notice anything unusual.
#15 – Obesity is a huge risk factor
Obesity is a huge risk factor for some types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.
If you’re overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about ways to lose weight safely.
Losing weight can be difficult, but it’s worth it if it lowers your cancer risk.
#16 – Some forms of cancer cannot be screened for
Some forms of cancer, such as ovarian cancer, cannot be screened for.
This means that there is no reliable way to detect the disease early.
If you’re at high risk for a type of cancer that can’t be screened for, talk to your doctor about how you can best protect yourself.
#17 – Nutritional deficiencies increase the risk
Certain nutritional deficiencies can increase the risk of cancer.
For example, a lack of vitamin D has been linked to an increased risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
Eating a healthy diet and taking supplements can help prevent nutritional deficiencies.
#18 – Lung and breast cancers are the most common cancers worldwide
Lung and breast cancer are the most common types of cancer worldwide.
In 2018, lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in men and women.
Breast cancer was the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
These two types of cancer account for a large proportion of all cancer cases and deaths.
Cancer is a complex disease that touches many lives. It can be scary and confusing, but with the right information, you can empower yourself and make informed decisions about your health. We hope these 18 things doctors wish you knew about cancer will help to start you on that journey. Have more questions? Ask your doctor or contact us for more information.