Last February was marked as World Cancer Day, let’s unveil something about cancer that’s quite interesting or needs to be talked about.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer, according to Cancer Research UK, where each and every single one of them are not less terrifying as the other. Even the most common ones with the highest survival rate in excess of 80% such as prostate cancer, malignant melanoma, and hodgkin lymphoma can be concerning.
Among all types and cases of cancer worldwide, 22% of them are considered as the rare type. But, what are the circumstances for a cancer to be considered and concluded as a rare type? Well, Rare Cancer Europe explains that rare cancer is the type that the occurrence is of less than six per 100,000 persons in a year, whereas less common cancers are identified to have between 6 and 12 incidence in 100,000 population.
Rare types of cancer should be brought up more so people can be better informed in regards to symptoms, new developments in diagnosis and treatments. Chicago Health weigh in on this, saying that by giving them more attention, it can hopefully help with additional financial support necessary for research to improve survival rates. So, on that note, let’s discuss about a few rare type of cancer that some people might not have even heard of.
1. Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones which regulate a person’s metabolism. It started when healthy cells in the thyroid change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor, which felt as a lump in the neck. There are four main types of thyroid cancer which vary in their aggressiveness, and the most rare and hard to cure is Anaplastic thyroid cancer.
2. Neuroendocrine Tumour
A neuroendocrine tumor begins in the hormone-producing cells of the body’s neuroendocrine system, which is made up of cells that are a combination of hormone-producing endocrine cells and nerve cells. Neuroendocrine cells are found throughout the body in organs such as the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach and intestines. Neuroendocrine cells perform specific functions, such as regulating air and blood flow through the lungs and controlling how quickly food moves through the gastrointestinal tract.
Diagnosed in one in a million people per year, Chordoma is a type of bone cancer found in the skull and spine. Since it's so rare, it's very difficult to study the causes of this type of cancer, but one thing experts are sure of is that chordoma is not by genetic. Chordomas grow slowly but aggressively, and tend not to respond well to chemotherapy, radiation, or drugs. Because it's so difficult to remove an entire chordoma tumor, the cancer has a high recurrence rate.
4. Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma
This cancer of the cartilage is so rare that there have been fewer than 1,000 cases reported in the medical literature since 1959. It's aggressive and quickly spreads to organs and lymph nodes, making it very dangerous if it isn't caught early. Two-thirds of mesenchymal chondrosarcoma cases occur in the bones (especially the spine, ribs, and jaw), while the other third is found in fat and muscle. Since it may appear anywhere in the body, it's hard to pinpoint symptoms.
To sum up, there are so many kinds of cancer, and they all deserve our attention. Whether you talk about awareness or prevention, the commonality is that cancer is a beast and it affects people in terrible ways. It may help just by being “aware” that the colored ribbons alone don’t make the pain and suffering go away.