Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S.—responsible for almost 23% of all deaths that occur each year—behind heart disease. However, cancer rates are rising worldwide, with about one in five men and one in six women developing the disease in their lifetime. As diagnoses continue to stack up year after year, it is predicted that cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in America.
Cancer affects every one of us; whether it is ourselves, a family member, a close friend, or a celebrity, it is impossible to avoid its ubiquity. This year has seen the beloved longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek continue to deal with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, while in all of our communities there is a rising debate and concern over vaping’s long-term effects, as e-cigarettes have become accessible even to teenagers.
While many types of cancer are genetic and unfortunately unavoidable, the risk of some can be extremely decreased through a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and even wearing sunscreen during prolonged beach days. And though the prognoses for too many of us are often tragic, early detection and regular medical checks are not only the smart thing to do—they can save your life. Not everyone can be as fortunate as the 41-year-old woman who, earlier this year was visiting the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions when a vacation photo from a heat camera tipped her off to a breast tumor.
Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Stacker averaged the annual number of new cancer cases per 100,000 people in 2000 and in 2015 to determine the increasing trend of certain types of the disease. From there the data team compiled a list of nine cancers that have had the greatest jump in frequency within that 15-year period.
Click through the slideshow to learn which forms of cancer are increasing.
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- New cases in 2000: 5.4 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 6 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 11.1%
While still relatively rare, testicular cancer is the most common cancer for men from ages 15 to 35. It is usually treatable, with a five-year survival rate of 95%. One highly publicized battle with testicular cancer was that of bicyclist Lance Armstrong, who was declared cancer-free in 1997.
- New cases in 2000: 10.8 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 12 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 11.1%
The most common symptom of oral cavity and pharynx cancer is a sore in the mouth that won’t heal. Risk factors for this cancer include tobacco and heavy alcohol use, as they can damage the DNA of cells.
- New cases in 2000: 5.8 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 7 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 20.7%
Myeloma is a cancer that causes plasma cells to multiply excessively and release too much protein into the blood, resulting in organ damage. Symptoms include bone pain, anemia, and weakness. While there isn’t currently a cure for this disease, there are treatment options to slow the spread of the myeloma cells—as well as alleviate discomfort from the symptoms.
- New cases in 2000: 23.7 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 27 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 13.9%
Also known as endometrial cancer, corpus and uterus cancer is typically diagnosed after the symptom of abnormal vaginal bleeding, which occurs in 90% of patients. This cancer typically affects people who are postmenopausal, although 5% of cases occur in people under 40 years of age.
- New cases in 2000: 11.1 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 13 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 17.1%
The pancreas is an organ behind the stomach which releases hormones that help process sugar. Unfortunately, symptoms of pancreatic cancer rarely present themselves until the disease reaches a more advanced stage, by which time a cure is unlikely. Steve Jobs and Patrick Swayze both died from this cancer.
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- New cases in 2000: 12.7 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 17 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 33.9%
The renal pelvis is the part of the kidney that connects to tubes, called ureters, which carry urine to the bladder. Typical symptoms of this disease are blood in the urine and constant back pain on one side. Surgery is a common form of treatment, including the removal of the entire kidney.
- New cases in 2000: 16.1 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 22 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 36.6%
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Though skin cancers are associated with UV radiation, people with darker complexions are more likely to be affected on areas of the skin that are less likely to be exposed to the sun, like the soles of the feet. Musician Bob Marley died of melanoma when he was only 36 years old.
- New cases in 2000: 5.1 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 8 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 56.9%
Bile is produced in the liver. It then runs through a duct system and empties into the intestine. Cancer cells can develop from both the liver and duct cells. Symptoms of this disease include jaundice, itchy skin, and weight loss. This form of cancer typically affects people over the age of 50.
- New cases in 2000: 7.4 per 100,000 people
- New cases in 2016: 14 per 100,000 people
- Increase in new case rates from 2000 to 2016: 89.2%
The thyroid is a gland in the neck which produces hormones that control your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight. When diagnosed early, thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer. Although doctors do not know what causes thyroid cancer, it is more prevalent in women and those with radiation exposure.
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