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The Most Common Female Cancers And How You Can Protect Yourself From Them

While most people speak about cancer as if it is a single disease, it is actually a collective name for a range of different illnesses. Certain cancers are more common than others, and some are particularly common in women. Specifically, these are ovarian, skin, cervical, lung, endometrial, colon, and breast cancer. It is important, therefore, that you as a woman learn about these cancers and what you can do to avoid them if possible.

– Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is by far the most common type of female cancer.

About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

It is vital that you learn how to screen yourself for breast cancer. The earlier you spot it, the easier it will be to treat it. This is known as “early detection” and is down to you getting to know your own breasts and then noticing if there are any changes, as well as having regular mammograms. This is particularly important if breast cancer runs in your family.

– Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is a particularly aggressive form of cancer that mostly affects older people.

For colorectal cancer, death rates increase with age. Colon and rectum cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The number of deaths was 15.1 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2009-2013 deaths. The percent of colon and rectum cancer deaths is highest among people aged 75-84.

There are a number of risk factors associated with this form of cancer, including a family history, eating a high fat diet, being overweight, smoking, and living a sedentary lifestyle. Colon cancer generally starts with polyps that can be identified and removed to prevent cancer. There are various tests that have been developed to identify both polyps and colon cancer, and it is important that you make use of them. Read more about, IM Colon Intestinal CleanserClick Here

– Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer, which affects the lining of the womb, is the world’s sixth most common cancer in women.

The 5-year prevalence of women globally living with endometrial cancer is 46.8 per 100,000 (estimated from incidence and observed survival by cancer and age group).

This type of cancer usually presents symptoms very early on, which makes it highly treatable. The five year survival rate is good, particularly in those who sought help as soon as they noticed symptoms. This is particularly true at the time of menopause.

– Lung Cancer

Cancer of the lungs is a particularly aggressive form of cancer with a very poor prognosis. It is almost always related to smoking, although it can affect anyone. Lung cancer is also the most lethal form of cancer in the country today.

More people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. This is true for both men and women.

Lung cancer is generally a preventable form of cancer. By not smoking, the chance of developing the condition is tremendously reduced. Secondhand smoking, however, can also contribute, so it is important that everybody helps everybody else to quit. Women who have smoked a lot for many years are at increased risk and should be monitored regularly.

– Cervical Cancer

Cancer of the cervix is caused by women who have been infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is essentially every woman who is sexually active. While there is now a HPV vaccine for young girls, the majority of those born after 2000 will continue to be at risk of developing cervical cancer.

This year, an estimated 12,990 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. It is estimated that 4,120 deaths from the disease will occur this year. When detected at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate for women with invasive cervical cancer is 92%. If cervical cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 57%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 17%.

You can prevent cervical cancer from spreading or even becoming problematic by having regular pap tests. These should be offered from age 21 onward, to women who are sexually active. Testing can be stopped in women with no abnormal results over the past 10 years once they reach 65, after which it should not be started again.

– Skin Cancer

Cancer of the skin can happen to anyone who has had skin exposure, although it is more likely in fair skinned women with either blond or red hair. It is also influenced by genetics. Skin cancer is highly preventable by using adequate sun protection.

Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.

By protecting yourself from the sun and by checking up on changes in moles and spots, you should be able to prevent skin cancer, or at least stop it from spreading.

– Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is most common in older women, particularly if they never had children or had them after the age of 30.

Ovarian cancer is a growth of abnormal malignant cells that begins in the ovaries (women’s reproductive glands that produce ova). Cancer that spreads to the ovaries but originates at another site is not considered ovarian cancer.

Unfortunately, there are no tests for ovarian cancer. There are warning signs to be aware of such as digestive problems, abdominal swelling, pelvic pain, and feeling like you need to urinate. A woman’s health exam should include a pelvic exam as well, as that is the best defense against this type of cancer.

Conclusion

While not all cancers are preventable, many are. Furthermore, by being aware of your own body, you have a greater chance of catching a problem early. The earlier cancer is detected, the easier it will be to treat it.

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Written by Ingrid Macher

Certified Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Motivator - I have a passion for helping people change their lives. I started out helping my friends and now I give advice and tips to perfect strangers who have now become my friends. I love what I do and I wouldn’t change my life even if I could. This kind of happy is truly a gift and I’ll do whatever it takes to be able to give this gift to others.