Men and women are different on so many levels. That includes the types of cancers they can get. There are certain cancers only men get and there are certain cancers only women get. There are certain cancers which plague women more than men and vice versa. It’s important to know which cancers you should be concerned about.
Cancers Only Women Get
This is probably pretty obvious. The cancers that only women get are gynecological cancers – which of course are cancers which start in places like the cervix, uterus, vagina, vulva, ovaries, and sometimes the fallopian tubes (very rare). It goes without saying that these cancers are only found in women because women are the only ones with these parts.
And while you might think only women get breast cancer, this is not the case. Men have breast tissue as well and can develop breast cancer. So the only cancers women get that men can’t get are gynecological cancers of the reproductive organs.
Cancers That Are Most Prevalent in Women
There are some cancers which strike women very fiercely. The most common types of cancers that really affect women are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, skin cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer women get aside from skin cancer, but it’s followed closely by lung cancer and then colorectal cancer.
However, breast cancer has a better survival rate amongst women than lung cancer does. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women who are white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Indian/Alaska Native women.
Lung cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women. The number one most fatal cancer for Hispanic women is breast cancer. And the third leading cause of cancer deaths among all women, no matter what nationality, is colorectal cancer.
Surely the great screening and early detection techniques we have to screen for breast cancer is why the survival rate is higher. Caucasian women have the best survival chance when it comes to breast cancer. African-American women and Hispanic women are at a greater risk of succumbing to breast cancer than Caucasian women.
Low income families are more at risk from breast cancer. This likely has to do with the limited access they might have to screenings like mammograms. This is why it’s so important to support breast cancer non-profits. With the survival rate increasing exponentially with early detection, providing necessary early screenings to low income family is of the utmost importance.
Across the board (male or female), lung cancer remains the top killing cancer amongst patients. Oddly enough it’s the easiest to prevent getting. It is estimated that 87%-90% of all lung cancer deaths are related to smoking. It seems simply enough – if you stop smoking, you decrease your chances of dying from lung cancer.
Because lung cancer doesn’t have a reliable early detection test like breast cancer does, it’s hard to diagnose early. This is why more people die of lung cancer; once you begin showing signs you are already so far into the progression of the disease that saving you from lung cancer is much more difficult.
Finally colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women. This appears to be on the decline, though. With better testing, polyps are being found and diagnosed early, leading to earlier treatment. Plus the treatment for colorectal cancer has improved, so the survival rate from this type of cancer is on the rise.
These are the kind of cancers that plague women the most and what you have to watch out for. Remember, early detection is key in increasing your survival rate. So don’t blow off that mammogram or colonoscopy. A few minutes of discomfort just might save your life.