While cancer may develop in nearly any body tissue, certain organs and regions are more frequently associated with cancer than others. The following cancer sites are described briefly in the general order frequency of new cases reported each year.
Colon and Rectal Cancer – It is the most prevalent of all forms. The American Medical Association has estimated the number of new cases each year at about 73,000 and annual deaths at about 40,000. This rate could be cut by more than half with early detection by colon and rectal examination as a part of a routine physical examination.
Skin Cancer – Various forms of skin cancer rank second in the number of new cases reported each year, yet the death rate is less than one in 15 cases. Skin cancers are the most easily detected and most easily cured. In fact, skin cancer is nearly 100 percent curable if treatment is started in time. Skin cancers appear more frequently in men than in women and are more common in older people. More fair skinned people develop skin cancer than darker complexioned people, especially those who over-expose themselves to the sun.
Breast Cancer - Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. The American Medical Association estimates that nearly 64,000 women in the United States develop breast cancer each year and that 25,000 of these cases are fatal. A large number of these deaths can be prevented if the cancers are discovered in time. A doctor can show a woman how to examine her own breasts periodically to detect any small, hard lumps. These should be reported to the doctor at once. In most cases, such lumps prove to be non-cancerous and no cause for alarm. About 95 percent of cases of surgery for breast cancer reveal a tumor, which could have been found by examination much earlier. This indicates the need for education in early detection of breast cancers.