The Top 5 Cancers Posing a Serious Threat to the Global Healthcare System

Cancer has emerged as a major public health concern around the world in recent decades. Cancer is the second leading cause of death on a global scale. Cancer is responsible for one out of every six deaths and was estimated to be responsible for 9.6 million deaths in 2018. The cost of cancer treatment is another issue that patients and their caregivers face. It costs people their quality of life and eventually leads to death if not treated promptly. Despite the fact that developed countries have better healthcare insurance policies, out-of-pocket expenses for treatment are once again high. According to WHO, “the total annual economic cost of cancer in 2010 was estimated at approximately US$ 1.16 trillion, and has been steadily increasing.”

Cancer of the Lungs
Lung cancer is a major disease burden on the healthcare system because it accounts for the greatest number of cancer-related deaths and diagnoses worldwide. It begins in the cells that line the bronchi and other parts of the lung, such as the bronchioles and alveoli. It has the potential to spread to lymph nodes or other organs in the body, including the brain. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. The risk is increased by the quantity and duration of smoking. The most common types of lung cancer are small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Cancer of the Colon

Colorectal cancer begins in the colon or the rectum (parts of the large intestine). Bowel cancer, colon cancer, and rectal cancer are other names for it.
According to the WHO, “every year, approximately 1.80 million cases and 862,000 deaths are caused by colorectal cancer worldwide.” Similarly, according to the American Cancer Society, “around 104,610 new cases of colon cancer and 43,340 new cases of rectal cancer are expected to occur in the United States in 2020.” Colorectal cancer has a 5-year survival rate of around 64% in the United States (2008–2014). Colorectal cancer is caused primarily by old age and lifestyle choices, but a small number of cases may occur as a result of a genetic disorder.

Cancer of the Skin

In the United States, skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Skin cancer is classified into two types: non-melanoma and melanoma. Non-melanoma skin cancer primarily affects the basal and squamous cells. Aside from these two, many other types of skin cancer, such as Angiosarcoma, Sebaceous carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma, and others, fall into the broader category of Non-melanoma skin cancer. The majority of non-melanoma skin cancers are curable. Melanoma skin cancer is a more serious form of skin cancer than non-melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma skin cancer accounts for approximately 5% of all diagnosed skin cancers but accounts for approximately 75% of skin cancer deaths.

Breast Cancer

Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It affects approximately 2 million women worldwide each year and is also the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women.
According to the WHO, “in 2018, it is estimated that 627,000 women died from breast cancer – accounting for approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women.” Although the number of cases of breast cancer is increasing in almost every country around the world, higher income countries have a higher number of cases. The most common type of breast cancer is HR-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer, which accounts for a higher percentage of all breast cancers.

Cancer of the Prostate

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate gland (a part of male reproductive system). It is one of the most prevalent types of cancer in men. It is the fourth most common cancer worldwide, and the third most common in the United States. “Approximately 99 percent of prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, which develop in gland cells,” according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). It is more common in men aged 50–64 and over 65, but it can occur in men younger than 50.”

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