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The words “diagnosed with cancer” cause an immediate gut reaction. Sadness, anger, and feeling overwhelmed are just a few of the emotions that crash into your system within seconds of the phrase being uttered.
The general term for more than 100 different diseases (200 if you consider sub-classifications), “cancer” strikes fear in the hearts of the bravest of us. But that need not be the case, if you are empowered with the truth about cancer.
In your lifetime, you may have heard the word cancer once or a thousand times. But NEVER did you think it could happen to you! It seems that the more “advancements” we make in treatments and screening, the more we learn that yet another friend, co-worker, or loved one has been stricken.
Researchers estimate that there were 17.5 million cancer cases worldwide in 2015 and 8.7 million deaths. This is up from 14 million cases and 8.2 million deaths in 2012.1,2 Clearly, cancer is not going away anytime soon.
Common Characteristics of All Types of Cancer
There are too many forms of cancer to name them all. However, we’d like to talk about the most common types of cancer because knowledge is power. The more you know about cancer, the better equipped you are to prevent it, fight it, and beat it if you are ever diagnosed with the big “C” word.
All types of cancer share common markers and cancer cells have some unique characteristics including damaged or mutated cells, rapid multiplication, and the ability to spread throughout the body. The specific form of cancer is named and categorized according to the tissue area affected.
Your body consists of billions of cells and the activities of those cells are managed by your DNA. Cells grow, multiply, and die every second of every day… unless they are cancerous cells. Cancer cells ignore your body’s directives and multiply without restraint. They hinder the normal activities of your internal organs and invade adjacent tissues.
What Causes Cancer?
According to most conventional medical practitioners, the causes of cancer are still unknown. The medical “experts” agree on some points – such as obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. They also disagree about others such as heavy metal toxicity, cosmetics and beauty care products, environmental pollution, sunscreen chemicals, genetically modified foods, cell phones, and common household products.
Here at The Truth About Cancer, we believe you have a right to know that what you are wearing, using, thinking, drinking, or eating could be increasing your personal cancer risk. Significant research links environmental and emotional toxins to the development of cancer.3 You know food manufacturers, cleaning product companies, and pharmaceutical giants don’t want you to be informed. That would disrupt their bottom line!
Long term chronic stress and emotional trauma cause cancer to grow and spread in many ways. These events dampen the immune system and increase growth factors that contribute to the development of cancer.4 An informed person can make reasonable choices about their current and future lifestyle. But a person who never hears a whisper about the dangers of our modern world falls prey to a choice without knowledge.
The “Terrible 12” Most Common Types of Cancer
1. Lung Cancer: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.5 It has one of the lowest survival rates, claiming more than 1.5 million lives every year worldwide.6 There are various types of lung cancer but the most common is “non-small cell lung cancer.” The primary cause of lung cancer is smoking (actually the chemicals used to produce the cigarettes) with a secondary cause no one ever hears about – radon poisoning. Lung cancer affects the alveoli (the tiny air sacs in the lungs) and can spread to other tissues rapidly.
2. Liver Cancer: This cancer took the lives of 788,000 people globally in 2015.7 As your body’s primary organ for filtration, you cannot live without your liver. This organ processes all your blood – a preferred mode of transportation for cancer cells, which is why most cases of liver cancer are secondary sites. In other words, they are cancers that start elsewhere and end up in the liver. When cancer actually starts in the liver, the cause is usually alcohol abuse, a birth defect, or chronic infection such as hepatitis B or C.8
3. Stomach Cancer: My father, Graham Bollinger, was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which results in more than 750,000 deaths per year.9 Although his official cause of death on the death certificate was “adenocarcinoma of the stomach,” he actually died from the surgery. This type of cancer affects the linings of the stomach, and sometimes goes undetected at the earliest stage. The longer it takes to diagnosis and treat the cancer, the poorer the prognosis. A diet of cancer-causing foods, smoking, and alcohol consumption are believed to elevate your risk of this particular form. If you have ongoing stomach distress that includes nausea, heartburn, bloating, or pain, talk to your doctor.
4. Colorectal Cancer: Cancer found in the colon or the rectum causes the deaths of almost 800,000 people annually.10 According to the National Cancer Institute it is the second highest cause of cancer death in the United States. If caught early, the survival rates are excellent. Early screening for colorectal cancer and preventive measures are crucial since there are often no symptoms until the cancerous cells have multiplied and spread to other organs. Some proactive measures include consuming a mostly plant-based diet, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, regular exercise, and participating in mind-body therapies.
5. Breast Cancer: Breast cancer occurs in the breast tissues of both males and females – claiming the lives of more than 500,000 people every year.11 The malignant tumor that grows in this tissue spreads quickly to other parts of the body if left untreated (and emotional roots left unresolved). Breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women (after skin cancer). Only about 10% of breast cancers are considered to be linked to heredity factors (meaning genetic mutations). However, many familial factors contribute one’s risk. For example, living in a toxic environment, consuming a poor diet, etc.) What this means is that we have ample room to take measures to prevent breast cancer. Unfortunately, regular breast cancer screening with mammograms have not decreased the cases of breast cancer nor have they improved survival rates.
6. Esophageal Cancer: Throat cancer – also known as cancer of the food pipe – claims the lives of more than 400,000 people each year globally.12 The top causes of esophageal cancer are smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, and diet. If you are a smoker who also drinks regularly, your risk is significantly higher. Research shows that maintaining a healthy weight and regular consumption of concentrated freeze-dried strawberries may lower risk for esophageal cancer.13 Screening for this form of cancer is complicated and sometimes damages the food pipe during the procedure. Scientists are working on better options.
7. Cervical Cancer: The cervix is located at the lower end of the uterus and opens into the upper portion of the vaginal canal. If the cells in this area undergo changes that are undetected over time, cervical cancer could occur. It is responsible for over 260,000 deaths worldwide.14 While about 84% of cervical cancer cases occur in less developed countries, it is estimated that over 4,000 women in the United States alone will die from this cancer this year.15 Doctors utilize Pap tests to determine the condition of the cervix cells and search for cancer or pre-cancerous cells. Early detection is critical since it may be asymptomatic of cervical cancer until it has spread.
8. Prostate Cancer: There may be no signs or symptoms of prostate cancer until it has spread to other areas of the body. That’s the reason it claims the lives of 1.1 million people annually. It is estimated that over 150,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and that over 26,000 will die from this cancer.16 Importantly, there are now many less invasive treatments for prostate cancer, so be sure to know all of your options before you accept a potentially damaging surgical method. Here again, researchers have found that a mostly plant-based diet can significantly reduce your risk.17
9. Bladder Cancer: There are over 400,000 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed each year globally.18 Fortunately, bladder cancer causes discomfort during urination so it is detected earlier than many other forms of cancer. Follow up care is important to ensure there is no recurrence of bladder cancer. Smoking is a major risk factor for bladder cancer.
10. Pancreatic Cancer: This cancer is aggressive and there are few symptoms of the disease until it is advanced. Abdominal pain, jaundice, and unexplained weight loss are signs that manifest in some patients. Pancreatic cancer claims the lives of over 330,000 people yearly.19 Obesity is a major risk factor for pancreatic cancer, but this cancer even strikes thin people, so your best is to keep your immune system strong. Beta glucans can be helpful.
11. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: This cancer starts in the white blood cells of your lymphatic system – the core of your immune system. Abdominal pain, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes (found in your armpits, neck, and groin) are symptoms some patients have reported. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is expected to claim the lives of more than 20,000 people in the U.S. alone in 2017.20 Maintaining a healthy lymphatic system and boosting your immune system will lower your risk of developing this cancer.
12. Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells is called leukemia. It begins in your bone marrow where most blood cells are produced. Too many immature blood cells are created which crowd out the healthy blood cells, leading to increased risk of infection, extreme fatigue, and anemia. Leukemia causes the deaths of approximately 353,000 people every year.21
Combined, these 12 types of cancer account for almost 75% of all diagnosed cancer cases in the world. And while the official statistics may state that “cancer” was the cause of death, the reality is that the majority of people who die from “cancer” actually die from the conventional treatments for cancer – chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.
Importantly, there are many other types of cancer beyond the top 12. Paying attention to your body and taking excellent care of it is the key to preventing cancer and detecting it early. The sooner you take charge of items within your personal control such as your diet and lifestyle, the better off every cell in your body is going to be.
Editor’s Note: This article originally published February 2015 and was updated and republished August 2017
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Cancer is the general term for more than 100 different diseases (200 if you consider sub-classifications).
Researchers estimate that there were 17.5 million cancer cases worldwide in 2015 and 8.7 million deaths.
The specific form of cancer is named and categorized according to the tissue area affected.
Significant research links environmental and emotional toxins to the development of cancer.
12 types of cancer account for almost 75% of all diagnosed cancer cases in the world. The 12 most common types of cancer are:
- Lung Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Many times official statistics state that “cancer” was the cause of death, but the reality is that the majority of people who die from “cancer” actually die from the conventional treatments for cancer – chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.