Get the Facts About Women and Colorectal, Lung, and Gastric Cancers
Breast cancer is not the only common cancer that affects women.
The most common cancers for women in the US are non-melanoma skin, breast, colorectal,
lung, and uterine cancers. Globally, the most deadly cancers for women are breast, lung, gastric, colorectal, and cervical cancers.
Other pages on this Web site discuss breast cancer and
gynecological cancers. This page gives you the facts on
3 major cancers that affect many women, and many men, for that matter.
Excluding skin cancer, cancer of the colon or rectum is the third most common cancer
diagnosed in men and women in the United States. Colon cancer affects men and women
in approximately the same numbers, though rectal cancer affects men often more than
The good news is that there has been a decline in deaths from colorectal cancer
over the past 15 years. As with all cancers, the more you know about the disease,
the better you can fight it. So know this—colon cancer is not only treatable, but
more likely to be cured when detected early. There are several ways to screen for
colon cancer, including a colonoscopy.
If cancer is present in the colon or rectum, the type of treatment that a doctor
recommends will depend on the stage of the cancer. Treatment can include surgery,
radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other therapies.
Every year, more women and men in the United States die of lung cancer than of breast,
prostate, and colorectal cancers combined. In the US, excluding skin cancer, lung
cancer is the second most common cancer for black, white, American Indian, and Alaska
native women, and the third most common cancer among Hispanic and Asian/Pacific
There are two common types of lung cancer, and they are treated differently. The
types, named after how their cells appear under a microscope, are:
- Small cell lung cancer, which accounts for about 13 percent of all lung cancers.
This type of cancer tends to spread quickly
- Non-small cell lung cancer, which accounts for about 87 percent of lung cancers.
This type of cancer tends to spread more slowly than small cell lung cancer
Gastric cancer, also called stomach cancer.
Like the colon, the stomach is part of the body's gastrointestinal system. Cancer
in the stomach can develop slowly over many years, and it most often affects older
people. Several factors can raise a person's risk of developing gastric cancer,
including obesity, tobacco use, bacterial infections, and a type of anemia.
It's estimated that about 8270 women will be diagnosed with the disease in 2010.
Unfortunately, symptoms often don't appear until the cancer is relatively advanced.
It's estimated that only 1 in 5 cases are caught at an early stage.
The main treatments for gastric cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Often, doctors will recommend using 2 or more of these treatments.