May 3, 2005 at 3:11 PM CDT - Updated July 26 at 6:57 PM
Top Five Common Cancers By: Wendy Ray
Cancer is a scary word that no one ever likes to hear, but unfortunately it's something a lot of people have to deal with. Even though preventative methods and medications are getting better, there are still tens of thousands of people diagnosed with cancer every year. Oncologist Stanley Sides says of the top five most common cancers, there are some things we can do to prevent two of them, but unfortunately there's still no exact cause to every type of cancer.
"We're all exposed to the sun and excessive sun exposure so this leads to pre-cancerous changes in many people," Dr. Sides says. That's why Dr. Sides says skin cancer is the number one on the most common types of cancer list. This cancer though is one that can be prevented. You've heard it before, but stay covered up and wear sunscreen when you're out in the sun.
"Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer in men and women. The incidences are higher in women than in men due to many factors we don't understand all of them," Dr. Sides says. Dr. Sides adds we do know genetics play a role in breast cancer, so do unopposed estrogen levels. Mammograms and self breast exams are both used to detect the disease.
"The third most common cause is clearly lung cancer," Dr. Sides says. "We all know how to deal with it, don't smoke or stay away from people who smoke."
Colorectal cancer comes in at number four on the list. "Colorectal cancer in the way of preventing it, Celebrex or a non steroidal anti inflammatory, seem to have an effect on dampening the colorectal change in colon and rectum," Dr. Sides says. Colorectal cancer can be hereditary; the key is to catch it early. Colonoscopies can detect signs of the disease.
Number five on the list is a cancer all men should know about. "The next common cause is prostate cancer in men. The same way as breast cancer is in women, men have prostate cancer," Dr. Sides says.