Cancer. It’s the word no one wants to hear.
But according to estimates from the American Cancer Society, in recent years around 1.8 million Americans annually have been diagnosed with a new case. There are many kinds of cancers ranging in treatment options and survival rates. Some diagnoses come with a promise, while others come with plans for a comfortable transition as life winds down.
Here are some of the most vicious forms of cancer and what their outcomes look like:
A particularly vicious form of cancer that around 3,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with each year is mesothelioma. A cancer of the layer of tissue that covers most internal organs, such as the lungs, stomach, and heart, the Mayor Clinic calls mesothelioma “aggressive and deadly.” Particularly at risk for developing mesothelioma are people who are exposed to asbestos.
Penn Medicine estimates the five-year survival rate for mesothelioma is 10%, though some people have lived 10 years after a diagnosis. Since this type of cancer is largely associated with exposure to asbestos, a mesothelioma settlement might be something to consider upon diagnosis. A settlement can help alleviate some of the costs associated with treating such an aggressive disease and may also help with the financial burden a diagnosis can put on family members.
The pancreas aids with digestion and keeping blood sugar levels under control. Pancreatic cancer disrupts that, often forming a tumor on the pancreas. According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, about 10% of pancreatic cancer cases are caused in part by genetics, but most cases occur randomly or because of age, obesity, or smoking. Johns Hopkins estimates the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is 5 to 10%.
While the diagnosis can be daunting, groups like the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network are working toward securing funding for more research on pancreatic cancer, something that, in addition to reducing things that put you at risk, will be key in defeating it.
The American Lung Association estimates the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 18.6%, making it one of the deadliest cancers people are diagnosed with each year. With smoking accounting for 80 to 90% of the deaths from lung cancer each year, lung cancer may be one of the most preventable cancers out there. Another 10% of cases are estimated to come from exposure to radon. Screening also plays a huge role in diagnosing lung cancer early.
While each type of cancer is extremely dependent on when it is discovered and other health factors of the person who has it, many groups are urging for increased research and raise the money to fund some of it every day.