Vitality

4 Most Common Cancers In Women And Who's Most At Risk

Cancer is the six-letter word that can strike fear into the bravest of hearts. According to the National Institute of Health, there are an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year. While we are all at risk for developing some type of cancer in our lifetime, there are certain types of cancers that are far more likely to occur in women.

Breast Cancer

As you may have expected, breast cancer is significantly more likely to strike women. According to Everyday Health, breast cancer accounts for 26 percent of female cancer cases a year, and an American woman has a one in eight chance of developing this form of cancer at some point in her lifetime. Breast cancer rates are much higher in developed countries due to factors such as dietary choices and alcohol intake, Medical News Today reported.

breast cancer ribbon Breast cancer is not the only cancer that affects women. Photo Courtesy of Getty/Jared Wickerham

The American Cancer Society estimates that there have been about 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in 2016, and of those, about 40,000 women will die from the disease, making it the second-leading cause of cancer death in women.

Lung Cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. The disease kills an estimated 106,470 women a year. Cigarettes are a popular cause of lung cancer, but radon, a naturally occurring gas that comes from rocks and dirt and can get trapped in houses and buildings, is another leading cause for the condition. The average American woman has about a one in 17 chance of developing lung cancer in her lifetime, regardless of her smoking habits.

This cancer is also more common in older individuals, with most lung cancer patients being 65 or older and is slightly more common in white women than women of other races.

Colorectal Cancer

The CDC reports that colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, is the third most common cancer among women and is most often found in people aged 50 and older. This is cancer of the colon or rectum, and occurs when uncontrolled cell growth in the large intestines leads to the growth of small tumors known as polyps.

The cancer is highly treatable when discovered early on but unfortunately, according to the Colon Cancer Alliance, if the cancer is left alone for too long it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or lung.

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer or cancer of the female reproductive system, obviously can only strike women. The American Cancer Society estimates there have been about 60,050 new cases of endometrial cancer diagnosed in 2016.

This cancer affects the female reproductive organs and mainly affects older postmenopausal women, with the average age of diagnosis being 60. The most common signs of this cancer include unusual vaginal bleeding. This cancer is also slightly more common among white women, and thankfully is highly treatable when caught early.

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