Friday, 6 March 2015

Top 5 Cancer Killers

WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD

Cancer care has come a long way. There are treatments for many types, and in some cases, even cures. But there’s still a long way to go. Cancer remains the No. 2 cause of death in the U.S., just behind heart disease.

Five cancers -- lung, colon, breast, pancreatic, and prostate -- claim more lives than any others. Find out how researchers are closing in on them.

Recommended Related to Cancer

General Information About Plasma Cell Neoplasms

There are several types of plasma cell neoplasms. These diseases are all associated with a monoclonal (or myeloma) protein (M protein). They include monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), isolated plasmacytoma of the bone, extramedullary plasmacytoma, and multiple myeloma. (Refer to the Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma (Waldenström Macroglobulinemia) section in the PDQ summary on Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment for more information.) Incidence and Mortality Estimated new...

Read the General Information About Plasma Cell Neoplasms article > >

1. Lung Cancer

Smoking is the top cause. But fewer people smoke than in the past, and some people who get lung cancer never smoked. So why does it kill more people than any other cancer?

"Former smokers have a high risk of developing lung cancer," says oncologist Julie Brahmer, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. "So it's going to take some time for us to see the death rate correspondingly decrease."

Like other cancers, it helps to find it early. Some insurance, including Medicare, now covers yearly CT lung scans for people ages 55-77 who are heavy smokers (or were, in the last 15 years) and have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer. (Check your plan for details.)

New medicines could also help put the brakes on the disease. "We've really seen a change in lung cancer treatment over the last decade,” Brahmer says. She points to “targeted” medicines that seek gene changes found in some lung tumors and prime the immune system to attack.

"We hope these sorts of therapies will be approved for use in lung cancer over the next few years,” she says. "We may be turning the tide, but we're not there yet."

2. Colon Cancer

Find it early enough, through a colonoscopy or other screening tests, and the odds of survival are very good.

But a lot of people don’t get those tests.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women. More than 90% of people who are diagnosed in its earliest stages live for at least 5 more years.

"Everyone agrees that these tests work," says Otis Brawley, MD, FACP, the American Cancer Society’s chief medical officer. Yet less than half of colon cancers are found early. More than a third of Americans age 50 and over aren't up-to-date on their screening.

New tests, including ones that look for certain genes in colon tumors, could make this cancer even easier to find early. And one promising treatment uses cancer vaccines to "train" the immune system to attack colon cancer cells.

source : Top 5 Cancer Killers

0 comments to “Top 5 Cancer Killers”

Post a Comment