Have you ever lost a loved one to cancer? Imagine sitting at the doctor’s office and hearing the news that they’re going to live long. Imagine all the holidays, events, and gatherings they’re going to miss in the future.
Life is extremely precious, and it can be very short. No matter how long a loved one has lived, losing them to cancer can feel like they haven’t spent enough time on earth. This one of the first things that people learn when they lose a loved one to cancer.
It’s best to tell them you love them when they are still alive, and that’s because this means so much more. Learn how to be expressive while you still have the chance because that chance might vanish any moment. The same goes when you thank them because they can appreciate it and respond to you while they live.
Cancer can often teach people a lot of things. They teach people the value of time spent with a loved one and the efforts that can be exerted. They also teach people who their real friends are and who are just there for the good times. And, of course, cancer teaches people that life is worth living.
One out of every six deaths, and at least 26, 000 deaths, happen because of cancer. In 2020, at least 606,000 people were lost to cancer in the United States. And according to the World Health Organization, at least 10 million people were lost to cancer in 2020. It’s the leading cause of death worldwide.
To gain a better understanding of cancer, let’s look at the most common ones. What are the early symptoms, and how do we detect them?
This is the most common of all types of cancer. There were at least 2.1 million new lung cancer patients in 2018. By the end of that year, 1.8 million succumbed to their deaths. What makes lung cancer so deadly?
One reason lung cancer is so vicious is that it’s difficult to detect in its early stage. Only 16% of lung cancer cases are detected while it’s still developing. And unfortunately, the symptoms only manifest once cancer has spread.
One of the symptoms to watch out for is a cough that doesn’t go away and only worsens. Watch out for reoccurring chest infections, especially when the person starts coughing up blood. Observe if a loved one is persistently breathless and tired. Also, monitor if they have lost appetite and weight.
The more prudent way to deal with cancer is to prevent them. For example, eliminate smoking and secondhand smoking from your life. Those who smoke or are exposed to it have a high risk of lung cancer. If you or a loved one is a smoker, please know that the sooner you stop, the better.
The second most common cancer in breast cancer. It is also the most prevalent one. In 2020, over 2.3 million people were diagnosed to have breast cancer. Unfortunately, over 685,000 breast cancer patients died in the same year. In the United States, researchers conclude that at least 13% of the women will probably develop it.
Doctors advise people to check for any new lump in the armpit or the breast. You may also observe if there is a part of your breasts that are thickening or swelling. Watch out for dimpling or irritation of breast skin and redness or flaky skin, and pain in the nipples. Sometimes, there might be discharge other than breast milk.
Although men can also develop breast cancer, women are statistically more prone to create them. The older you get, the riskier it becomes. A personal history of breast conditions and breast cancer itself is also a sign that you might get the disease, especially if a family member has been diagnosed with it.
The good thing about breast cancer is that it is almost always curable. There are also many ways to detect it, such as:
- Breast ultrasound
- Diagnostic mammogram
- Magnetic resonance imaging
Colorectal or Colon Cancer
The third most common cancer is colorectal or colon cancer. In 2020, more than 1.9 million individuals developed this type of cancer, and at least 935,000 people died from it. At least one in every ten cancer cases is bound to be colon cancer.
Among the symptoms that patients with this type of cancer feel are a strange change in their bowel habits. They could be experiencing constipation or diarrhea frequently. Watch out for any bleeding in the rectal area and the stool. Observe discomfort in the abdomen, such as pain, gas, or cramps.
While it’s only the third most common, colon cancer is the second deadliest next to lung cancer. One of the ways to combat this disease is early detection. You can use a home test kit for colon cancer for it. And with surgery, cancer can be removed to ensure that the patient survives.
It’s never easy to watch a loved one have cancer. One of the things that you can do is spread awareness and be kind. Remember that the most common types of cancer globally are lung, breast, and colon cancer.