Some cancers move slowly through your body, giving you time to catch them. But others move like a freight train – and wham. By the time you notice their warning signs, it’s too late.
How can you protect yourself against such deadly calamities? First, early detection is critical. Knowing exactly what your risks are will help guide early detection and arm you with the best solutions for prevention.
Start with this life-saving information on five of the fastest-moving cancers: pancreatic, brain, esophageal, liver and skin.
1. Pancreatic Cancer: The Cancer You’re Most Likely to Miss
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest. Of the approximately 44,000 people diagnosed each year, 38,000 will die. Part of the problem with detection involves where the pancreas is located – hidden deep in the back of the abdomen. Too often, by the time the tumor is located, the cancer has spread beyond the initial site, making it more difficult to treat.
- Abdominal or back pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Digestive problems
- Light-colored stools
Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors
Risk #1: Two or More Family Members Diagnosed With Pancreatic, Breast, Colon or Ovarian Cancer
Family history is an important risk factor since up to 10% of pancreatic cancers are inherited. Some genes associated with breast, colon and ovarian cancer, such as the BRCA2, may also put you at higher risk. If you have family members with a history of these diseases, particularly if they were diagnosed under the age of 50, consult your doctor, who may recommend seeing a genetic counselor.