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Cancer Demographics & Statistics Diet Exercise

Cancer In 2021 America

1 year, 2 months ago

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Posted on May 27, 2021, 4 p.m.

It still comes as a shock that in this day and age with all the technological and medical advances society still battles with cancer. There is a varied list of common forms of cancer that are diagnosed with the greatest frequency in America, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers which includes breast, bladder, colon and rectal, endometrial, kidney, liver, leukemia, lung, melanoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, pancreatic, prostate, and thyroid cancers, according to the NIH. 

To qualify on this common cancer list the estimated annual incidence for 2021 had to be a minimum of 40,000 cases or more. According to NIH statistics, the most common form of cancer is breast cancer with 284,200 new cases expected in 2021; the next most common cancers are prostate and lung cancer. 

For this list colon and rectal cancers were combined as these two forms of cancer are most often referred to as colorectal cancers. The 2021 estimated number of new cases for colon cancer is 104,270 and the estimate is 45,230 for rectal cancer creating a total of 149,500 estimated new cases of colorectal cancer in 2021. 

1 in 3 (39.3%) Americans will develop some form of malignancy in their lifetime. The following is a list of the estimated numbers of new numbers and deaths for each common cancer type in 2021:

  • Bladder cancer is estimated to have 83,730 new cases with 17,200 deaths in 2021.
  • Breast cancer (female/male) is estimated to have 281,550-2,650 new cases with 43,600-530 deaths in 2021.
  • Colon and Rectal cancer (combined) are estimated to have 149,500 new cases with 52,980 deaths in 2021.
  • Endometrial cancer is estimated to have 66,570 new cases with 12,940 deaths in 2021.
  • Kidney cancer (renal cell and renal pelvis) is estimated to have 76,080 new cases with 13,780 deaths in 2021.
  • Leukemia (all types) is estimated to have 61,090 new cases with 23,660 deaths in 2021.
  • Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct cancer is estimated to have 42,230 new cases with 30,230 deaths in 2021.
  • Lung (including Bronchus) cancer is estimated to have 235,760 new cases with 131,880 deaths in 2021.
  • Melanoma cancer is estimated to have 106,110 new cases with 7,180 deaths in 2021.
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is estimated to have 81,560 new cases with 20,720 deaths in 2021.
  • Pancreatic cancer is estimated to have 60,430 new cases with 48,220 deaths in 2021.
  • Prostate cancer is estimated to have 248,530 new cases with 34,130 deaths in 2021.
  • Thyroid cancer is estimated to have 44,280 new cases with 2,200 deaths in 2021.

Perhaps one of the more solemn facts about cancer is that there are over 100 different known cancers that can affect humans. Cancers are often described by the body part they originated in, but some body parts contain multiple types of tissues so cancers are additionally classed by the type of cell that the tumor cells originate in for greater precision such as epithelial cell or squamous cell carcinoma cancer. 

Cancer can strike anyone, it does not care how old you are, what ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, or what gender you are. The rate of cancer in children has been increasing for the past few decades, as such about 10,500 American children under the age of 15 are projected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2021. Thanks to advances 84% of children with cancer will now survive 5 or more years, which is a significant increase from 58% in the 1970s. But still, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children between the ages of 1-14, with estimates at 1,190 children projected to die from cancer in 2021.

Estimates are that 1 in 3 cancers can be prevented. When it comes to any illness or disease, prevention will always be better than a cure. While there is no magic pill or guarantee that you will never experience a problem with your health you can reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems by making healthy lifestyle choices like maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco, keeping stress in check, getting enough sleep, consuming a balanced diet, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, participating in regular physical activity/exercise, and protecting your skin among other steps. However, prevention is not just a short-term thing, this is best if practiced across a lifetime. 

Screening can also help to detect cancers early when treatment is more likely to work best. Screening is often recommended for those at high risks, such as those with a family history of cancer. You can find out more about cancer in general and screening from by clicking here.

Not all foods are created equal, what you consume can drastically affect many aspects of your health which includes the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. In particular, the development of cancer has been shown to be heavily influenced by diet. Not only do studies show that a higher intake of certain foods possibly helps to decrease the growth of cancer, but certain foods could also be associated with a lower risk of disease. These foods include but are not limited to cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, carrots, beans, berries, cinnamon, nuts, olive oil, turmeric, citrus fruits, flaxseed, tomatoes, garlic, and fatty fish. 

Just as food can possibly help to prevent cancer, food can also help to promote cancer as is the case with processed foods. There are many studies showing links between cancer and processed foods, in fact, W.H.O. has classified processed meats including ham, bacon, salami, and frankfurts as being a Group 1 carcinogen known to cause cancer, joining the likes of tobacco, UV radiation, and alcohol. Research shows that certain chemicals in processed foods cause them to be carcinogenic. 

Ultra-processed foods are lacking in beneficial nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber while containing high amounts of sugar, fat, and salt.  These foods are linked to obesity and its associated comorbidities, these foods are also very common and can represent as much as half of the daily energy intake in several developed countries according to a study published in BMJ. The list of these foods includes but is not limited to packaged bakery products, snacks, junk food, sugary cereals, fizzy and sugary drinks, deli meats, fast food, and reconstituted meat products that are most common in a Western-type diet. The study suggests that a 10% increase in the proportion of these foods is associated with a 12% risk of overall cancer and an 11% increase in the risk of breast cancer. Following a Western-type diet contributes to weight gain, obesity, and 12 specific cancers, with a noted correlation between processed meat and colorectal cancer. 

The American Cancer Society developed a catchy but simple reminder to help people to be alert about the symptoms of cancer using the acronym CAUTION. Keep in mind that this is a loose guide at best because the vast majority of such symptoms are caused by nonmalignant disorders, and cancers can produce many symptoms not listed like unexplained weight loss and fatigue. Nonetheless, it is a useful reminder to listen to your body and follow up on any concerns. 

C: Change in bowel or bladder habits

A: A sore that does not heal

U: Unusual bleeding or discharge

T: Thickening or lump(s) in the breast or elsewhere

I: Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing

O: Obvious change in a wart/mole

N: Nagging cough or hoarseness

This article is courtesy of Tamsyn Webber, blogger and health advocate. 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.

Content may be edited for style and length

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