3 Most Common Cancer Types in America
What are the most common types of cancer? The answer varies by country. Cancer impacts people all over the world. Some cancers are curable with early detection and treatments. Others are terminal and inevitably end in death.
The National Cancer Institute publishes a list of common cancers in the United States based on research by the American Cancer Society. To qualify for the list, the incidence estimate for 2015 had to be at least 40,000 cases. According to the data, the most common types of cancer among Americans are breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers.
1. Breast Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates 234,000 new breast cancer cases in 2015. Most cases will be diagnosed in women; less than 3,000 cases are expected in men. This makes breast cancer the most common type of cancer in the United States.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. It ranks second behind lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women. Breast cancer deaths have decreased steadily since 1989 due to early detection and treatments. Fewer hormone therapies have also had a role in the lower death rates.
2. Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States. About 220,800 new cases are estimated to occur in the United States during 2015. Apart from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in men. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men behind lung cancer. The death rate has decreased slightly since the 1990s.
Early detection of prostate cancer is difficult since the early stages have no symptoms. Age is one of the most-established risk factors, with more than half of the cases diagnosed in men age 65 and older. Advanced prostate cancer often spread to the bones, and the chemoprevention of this disease is an active area of medical research.
3. Lung Cancer
The next most common cancer among American men and women is lung cancer. The ACS estimates 221,200 new lung cancer cases in 2015, and they account for 13 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the country. More cancer deaths occur from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer.
Lung cancer symptoms do not occur until advanced stages of the disease, and cigarette smoking is the biggest risk factor. This type of cancer is usually a terminal illness, and the survival rate is lower than for most other cancers.