A sneak peek into the top 5 deadliest cancers and the true nature of their origins

top 5 deadliest cancers

Cancer: The disease and the dread

Cancer – a disease no longer limited to the aging or the chain-smokers (though these are still two of the biggest risk factors) has tragically become more rampant and pervasive in the current day and age.

This highly unpredictable disease is marked by the abnormal growth of cells within an organ that has the potential of turning into malignant tumors.

Once the vicious state of malignancy has taken over, the disease quickly spreads within the body via the bloodstream, rendering the cancer-affected individual highly incapable of fighting off the toxic manifestation and in many cases, death.

There is no one single type of cancer.

In fact, studies reveal that the different types of cancers found in the human body could be well in the triple digits.

And this is one of the critical factors that are making the search for a complete cure for cancer more inaccessible, complex, and, at times vague.

Global cancer incidence has witnessed the most unfortunate upsurge in the past few decades. In the year 2012, more than 14 million new cases of cancer were reported worldwide (mind you this figure represents the number of new cancer cases diagnosed in a single calendar year), and there were more than 8 million cancer deaths.

As per the studies published by the WHO, this figure when extrapolated to the not-so-distant-future, the year 2030, gives us 21.7 million new cases of cancer and around 13 million deaths due to the same.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of the deaths today.

Out of every 6 deaths that occur around the globe, one of them is cancer-related. This roughly translates to 8.9 million deaths per year, making it one of the leading cause of global mortalities, second only to cardiovascular diseases.

Adding to this fact, as pointed out at the beginning of the article, cancer is not something that is strictly limited to the aging demography only.

Every year, more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer. Not to mention, a whopping 90% of the burden due to cancer-related deaths among children falls on the low and middle-income countries.

Overall, 7 out of every 10 deaths that can be attributed to cancer are among residents of low and middle-income countries.

Does this mean that the rich and affluent, in general, are immune to cancer?

Or that economic endowment of a nation is linked to cancer survival rates?

Is it possible that our collective global wealth and resources are being directed to address more futile causes instead of finding a cure for cancer?

Let us find out.

The cost of waging a war on cancer

Cancer, a disease that sweeps millions off the globe on a yearly basis, is no less than a global threat.

More so because it’s complete cure remains elusive to this day.

But judging mortality to incidence rates of cancer in economically flourishing nations and comparing them to low and middle-income countries one can easily infer that cancer treatment is largely impacted by the economy of the country.

This is because the kind of cancer-related healthcare institutions – from the downright infrastructure to the level of cancer-fighting technologies – everything costs money.

Now let us take look at how much are we spending on finding a cure to cancer vs. how much are we spending on the military and wars.

As per the information furnished by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the world military expenditure reached the colossal figure of $ 1.756 trillion ($ 1,756,000,000,000) in 2012!

That’s roughly 2.5% of the entire world’s GDP (gross domestic product) and amounts up to $ 249 per person globally.

Global investment on cancer

Now let us take a look at how much are we spending on cancer – both treating and preventing it.

  • Studies reveal that in spite of NCDs (non-communicable diseases such as cancer) are responsible for 70% of the all the deaths worldwide, these diseases collectively receive less than 2% of the global development assistance for health funding.
  • In 2010, inadequately treated cases of cancer ended up costing the world $ 859 billion!
  • An investment of $ 11.4 billion can go on to save around $ 100 billion in treatment costs in low and middle-income countries.

Additionally, it has been statistically proven that the adequate investment in research and preventive measures for cancer can save the world $ 200 billion in terms of treatment cost and the productivity of the demography.

This means that if we are able to spend only 11% of what we spend on nuclear arms race or maintaining populous armies, we might be much closer to preventing incidence and deaths due to cancer and maybe finding a more hopeful cure.

Why is it so tough to find a cure?

Keeping aside the fact that we are in reality spending trillions on war and much less on cancer cure, there are still billions of dollars being poured into thousands of cancer research facilities across the globe with no definitive cure.

Why is that so?

There are several reasons as to why despite billions being funneled into cancer research and cure, we are still light years away from finding a tangible solution.

  • The internal defense system of the human body, the immune system, is the one which has been handed the responsibility of identifying foreign bodies, pathogens, and toxins and fighting these off. Now, the thing with cancer cells is that they remain “invisible” to the immune system in the sense; the immune system is not able to distinguish the cancer cells from healthy body cells and is hence not able to attack or destroy them.
  • The cancer cell DNA and host cell (our body’s) DNA have a similar configuration. Thus, the body’s circulatory system, aka, the blood continues feeding and nourishing the cancer cells and result in rapid metastasizing.

cancer cure

  • Normal cells in the human body follow a definite life cycle. Each cell created in your body faces its natural death by a process called apoptosis. The problem with cancer cells is that this apoptosis or natural cell death is absent in them. So they keep growing without diminishing in number. A cure for cancer would involve initiating this cell death in the cancer cells. However, each type of cancer employs a different kind of gene hence the treatment and cure become convoluted.
  • Not to mention that different types of cancers can form in the same part of the body and one type of cancer can affect multiple body parts at the same time!

Add these to the fact that globally 1 out of every 2 men and 1 out of every 3 women (USA)  are likely to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and you have global mayhem.

Hence, it should not come as a surprise to you now that our collective global investment in fighting cancer is in the range of billions however the global economic burden of this disease is no less than $ 2.5 trillion!

So now that we have gained in-depth knowledge on how lethal cancer could be and how difficult it is to find a cure for the same, let us next delve deeper into how our modern lifestyle practices could be at the core of this ineradicable trillion dollar disease.

Is cancer risk hidden in our modern lifestyle practices?

One of the earliest recorded evidence of cancer in the human body (or fossil to be precise) dates back to 1.7 million years ago. The fossil indicated the presence of a bone cancer known as osteosarcoma (malignant bone tumor) in the toe of the said fossilized human being.

Though it was rare in the ancient times, cancer still found its way in Egyptian scrolls that can be dated back to 5000 years.

toxic lifestyle habits

In fact, the name cancer has been derived from the Greek word “karkinos” used by none other than the father of medicine, Hippocrates, to describe the growth of malignant tumors.

However, with the advent industrial revolution, aka, the unrestrained use of fossil fuels in driving automobiles and trains along with stoking up millions of machines in factories worldwide, the earth was introduced to the concept of “toxins” and “carcinogens”; and cancer tolls began hitting an all-time high.

Many experts posit that cancer is a “man-made” disease or a “modern man’s disease”; which might not be completely false.

Though there have been instances of cancer in the prehistoric times and the ancient world as well, the prevalence was not as high as it is today.

One major reason, as observed before, is the escalation of fossil fuel usage and the rampant intensification of pollution at every level.

The second reason, as many experts opine, is that a longer lifespan increases the chances of chronic diseases such as cancer being unveiled in the human body.

However, the third and the most indisputably significant reason are the practices of modern day lifestyle.

Starting from ingesting foods that are stripped off natural nutrients to breathing air infused with carcinogens; from having negligible physical activities to succumbing to the daily burden of mental stress – all of these are a commonplace occurrence of anyone caught up in the modern day living habits.

Our habitats are no longer swamped by trees and greenery. They can be best described as an endless maze of sprawling concrete towers where everything, including the air we breathe and the water we drink, is potentially toxic.

And these very risk factors – unhealthy diet, environmental toxins, lack of physical activities, and obesity are the biggest precursors to cancer.

Let us take a look into each individually.

Obesity, an unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activities

20% of all cases of cancer are directly attributable to these three toxic lifestyle practices.  Unhealthy diet refers to high consumption of calories sans nutrients that are rich in saturated fats, salt, sugar, and other such elements. And yes, alcohol consumption forms a significant part of it.

Obesity is defined as the accumulation of excess bodily fat that leads to high bodily inflammation and other chronic diseases.

Lack of physical activities is self-explanatory.

These risk factors are counted as potential carcinogens and there exists strong evidence that links the presence of these factors and the increased risk of cancer.


Every year the world spends more than $ 200 billion on cancers caused as a result of increased tobacco use. Tobacco consumption – in every form, is one of the biggest but also the most preventable cause of cancer.

The tobacco smokes contains more than 4000 different compounds out of which a significant proportion are highly carcinogenic.

Nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, lead – you name the toxic substance and it will be there diffused in tobacco smoke.

No wonder tobacco is at the crux of a number of life-threatening cancers such as lung, esophagus, bladder, kidney, liver, pancreas, colorectal and many more cancers!

There is a marked difference between the top 5 deadliest cancers occurring in high-income countries such as the USA and the world overall.

This is because economically well-off countries have a considerable chunk of people following practices of over-indulgence (obesity, high sugar consumption etc) which turn carcinogenic. However, in low and middle-income countries high-pollution levels and widespread infections are the primary cancer-causing agents.

Now that we know what are the biggest risk factors at play when it comes to the onset of cancer, let us learn which kind of cancers cause the most number of deaths, both in high-income countries and the world overall.

Top 5 deadliest cancers – Global statistics

#1. Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is not only the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men (and 3rd most among women), it is also the type of cancer responsible for the most number of deaths per year (in high-income countries and the entire world overall).

In 2018 alone, more than 2 million new cases of lung cancer have been diagnosed. The number of fatalities associated with it is 1.7 million deaths per year.

Lung cancer statistics

This type of cancer is alone responsible for 27% of all cancer-related mortalities.

The biggest cause of lung cancer is tobacco consumption which can be linked to almost 80% of all lung cancer deaths.

It is characterized by tumor growth in the lungs and bronchi that lead to difficulty in breathing, chest pain, blood in sputum, and other lung infections such as pneumonia.

#2. Colorectal Cancer

Ranking second in case of both developed countries and the world overall is cancer in the colorectal region.

The term colorectal is used to refer to the intestines and the rectum region.

More than 862,000 people succumb to colorectal cancer every year. Studies suggest that obesity increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 30%.

Colorectal cancer

The risk is also slightly high among males and people above the age of 65 years. A diet high in red meat (also processed meat consumption) and heavy alcohol and tobacco consumption are the leading risk factors.

#3. Stomach Cancer

The third biggest killer among cancers is stomach cancer.

Every year 783,000 deaths occurring across the globe can be attributed to stomach cancer. It used to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths until the 1980s until lung cancer overtook it.

Stomach cancer statistics

One of the biggest risk factors associated with stomach cancer is an infection caused by the H.pylori bacteria (the same microbe responsible for gastric ulcers and sores in the gastrointestinal tract).

Other risk factors associated with this type of cancer are unhealthy dietary practices such as high consumption of smoked/salted meats, cured meats, pickled vegetables, and tobacco.

#4.  Liver cancer

Killing more than 782,000 people worldwide and being diagnosed in over 840,000 people every year, liver cancer is the 4th most lethal form of cancer.

It has a low survival rate (as you can see from the annual incidence and mortality figures) and is often called as a silent killer because the symptoms don’t appear evidently till cancer has progressed to an advanced stage.

Liver cancer

The treatment usually requires surgery and liver transplant. The most common causes of liver cancer are excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis infection, and diabetes.

It is usually characterized by jaundice (yellowish discoloration of skin and eyes), abdominal swelling, and loss of appetite.


#5. Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death among women.

It kills 627,000 people worldwide annually. Studies suggest that every 13 minutes one woman succumbs to breast cancer.

Globally, 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. However, it is not limited to women only. Every year 2470 deaths due to breast cancer occur in men.

Breast cancer statistics

Aging, exposure to harmful radiation, prolonged intake of birth control pills, obesity, and high alcohol consumption are the leading risk factors.

Top 5 deadliest cancers – USA statistics

#1. Lung Cancer  & #2. Colorectal Cancer

Lung cancer and colorectal cancer are the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in high-income countries as well.

#3. Breast Cancer

Breast cancer, which is the 5th most deadly form of cancer worldwide, it ranks 3rd in the high-income country group.

Breast cancer

The incidence rates highly vary between developed countries (89.7 / 100,000 in Western Europe countries) and low-income countries (19.3/100,000 in among east African nations).

21% of all cases of breast cancer can be attributed to heavy alcohol use, high BMI, and lack of physical activities – factors which are more prominent in developed countries.

Other causes for the disparity are the usage of OCPs, age at which first childbirth occurs, and the length of breastfeeding the baby.

#4. Pancreatic Cancer

With as high as 71% patients succumbing within the first year of diagnosis, pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer that is rampant in developed countries.

It is the 4th most common cause of cancer deaths in the USA and has survival rates as low as 3-6%.

It is the only type of cancer for which the fatality rates are increasing with each passing year.

Pancreatic cancer

There are no early detection tests for pancreatic cancer and the most evident symptom exhibited by the patients is the abdominal pain (which can be commonly confused with countless other conditions).

Tobacco consumption, high BMI, toxic chemical exposure, and high processed meat consumption are the leading risk factors.

#5. Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a small gland present below the urinary bladder in men and helps in semen production.

Cancer in this gland kills one man every 18 minutes (globally).  Overall there are more than 2.9 million American men living with this condition.

Prostate cancer

60% of the cases of prostate cancer are detected among above the age of 65 years.  High tobacco consumption, obesity, processed meats, smoking and alcohol, and even several STDs increase the risk of prostate cancer.

It is the second most commonly occurring cancer among men andMore than 1.3 million new cases are reported this year. 15% of all new cases of cancer among men is prostate cancer.




Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from expert on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
How can berberine supplements help you live longer and healthier? Berberine is a turmeric look-alike herbal extract that is credited with numerous health benefits ranging…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
Grapeseed Oil: Find out how to use this oil without any side-effects Grapes are known for their delicious fresh taste and the fact that they make wine…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and…
Top 15 fat burning foods you need to start eating from today! Tired of going to gym everyday but seeing no change in your weight? Try these…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
Activated charcoal: The instant health benefits of this “diamond in the coal mine” How can the pitch black activated charcoal help you whiten your teeth? Or have a…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
LDL cholesterol level
Lecithin: Learn how you can utilize this fatty acid to improve your cholesterol count Lecithin is primarily a fatty acid found in common foods such as soy and eggs.…
How cooking with CLA safflower oil can help you lose weight? Read and discover more about CLA safflower oil and how it can aid faster fat…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
Hate making breakfast?Fast and healthy breakfast recipes just for you! Tired of snatching a bagel every morning for breakfast during the rush hour? Here are…
Bulletproof coffee recipe
Bulletproof Coffee – Breakfast of champions or yet another health fad? Can this special ketogenic coffee really make your body race as fast as a bullet?
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
boost brain health
The ultimate tips on how to boost your brain health Would you like to be smarter? Want a sharp memory but bored of doing sudoku?…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
MCT oil athletes
MCT Oil : The kind of fats you should be eating MCT oil or Medium Chain Triglycerides is the new buzzword in the fitness industry. What…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
canola oil cooking
Canola oil: How safe is it to consume this popular cooking oil? Extracted from rapeseeds, Canola oil derives its name from Canadian Oil. Did you know that…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a…
Pomegranate: Why are they called ruby red pearls of health? The shrub Punicagranatum yields a red fruit which is what you normally call pomegranate. The…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find…
Rick Simpson’s Oil: The truths and controversies of this cannabis product Rick Simpson's Oil is an extract from the much-controversial plant, Cannabis. What is the actual…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
Fructose: Healthy fruit-product or loaded with toxic calories? Fructose is a sugar derived from fruits and other plant sources. Does this mean that…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
healthy habits
10 healthy habits: Have a hearty kick-start to the New Year! Do you set goals that are too difficult for you to maintain? Are to struggling…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
green tea benefits
Green Tea: Does it really aid weight loss and reverse aging? A centuries-old concoction of fresh green leaves, green tea holds the secret to healthy weight…
global warming health
Rising mercury and your health: How Global Warming is damaging your body Don't ignore the rising temperature. Global warming causes more than just heat strokes. It could…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
Did you know drinking alkaline water could be the healthier choice for you? Ever wondered how safe is your drinking water in terms of pH? Recent studies have…
Amnesia brain
Amnesia: It’s not just a blow on the head that can erase your memory Amnesia, a condition popularized by many a tv shows, is a condition of partial or…
stress adverse effects
Fight, flight, or freeze: 8 ways stress can ruin your body Did you know that stress is in-built in our systems? It helped our ancestors respond…