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Cancer warning signs

METRO – No one is immune to cancer, which the World Health Organization notes is the second leading cause of death across the globe. Though cancer is responsible for more than nine million deaths per year, the WHO notes that many cases of cancer are preventable.

The WHO estimates that one-third of deaths from cancer are due to five behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption. People who smoke, drink to excess and/or eat unhealthy diets can greatly reduce their risk for cancer and the likelihood that they will join the millions of cancer patients who die from the disease each year.

Learning the warning signs for cancer is another way people can reduce the likelihood that they will die from cancer. Cancer Research UK notes that cancers diagnosed at early stages are more likely to be treated successfully than those that are in the later stages. Late-stage cancers have typically spread beyond their origination point, making treatment more difficult and survival less likely.

Early detection of cancer is vital to survival. For instance, Cancer Research UK notes that more than nine in 10 bowel cancer patients will survive their disease for more than five years if diagnosed at the earliest stage. The five-year survival rates are similar for breast cancer and ovarian cancer patients whose diseases are diagnosed in their earliest stages.

By learning some of the common warning signs of cancer, people can increase the likelihood of early detection, greatly improving their chances of surviving this potentially deadly disease. Each type of cancer has its own unique symptoms, and people with family histories of cancer are urged to discuss those histories with their physicians so they can learn the warning signs of the specific cancers that may run in their families.

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