What is the Probability of Getting Cancer?
Cancer is, unfortunately, all too common. In fact, over 1.8 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and over 600,000 died from the disease. These grim statistics might make you wonder, ‘what are my chances of getting cancer?
The odds of getting cancer cause concern, with The American Cancer Society estimating 9.5 million people worldwide died from cancer-related diseases in 2018.
Is cancer rare? According to Medical News Today, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men in the US will develop cancer within their lifetime. These figures highlight that cancer is, indeed, not rare and something a large part of the population faces at some point in their life.
In this post, we’ll explain the likelihood of developing cancer, the lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer, how this risk is determined, and the steps to take in assessing your chances of having cancer.
The Odds Of Developing Cancer
Receiving a cancer diagnosis or watching a loved one struggle with the disease can be a terrifying experience. According to MetLife, 41 percent of adults in the U.S. reportedly feared developing cancer during their lifetime.
But what are the chances of getting cancer? Statistics from the American Cancer Society (ACS) suggest men have a 40.14 percent chance of getting the disease, while women’s odds are 38.7 percent. As for specifics, prostate cancer is ranked highest for men, with an 11.6 percent risk.
For women, it’s breast cancer, carrying a 12.83 percent risk. However, the ACS has recently revealed lung cancer has overtaken breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer in women living in developed nations.
What about the odds of dying from cancer? Despite the alarming figures, dying from cancer has a slightly more optimistic outlook. Men have a 21.34 percent risk of dying from cancer throughout a lifetime, while women have an approximately 18.33 percent risk.
These encouraging statistics result from screening programs with early detection rates and significant advancements in cancer therapy treatments.
Absolute Risk vs. Relative Risk
Scientists conduct studies on large groups of people to determine what is the probability of getting cancer.
Risk estimates are determined through research on large groups of people by focusing on the likelihood that any person or a specific group of people will develop cancer over a certain period. Risk is divided into two categories: absolute risk and relative risk.
Absolute risk is used to determine the numeric odds of developing cancer over a specific period.
For example, within one year, ten years, by age 70, or throughout a lifetime. An absolute lifetime risk, for example, is finding the probability of an individual’s likelihood of developing cancer in their lifetime.
On the other hand, relative risk involves comparing the likelihood of cancer in two different groups of people. It provides an increase or decreases as a percentage compared to an absolute value.
For example, the relative risk of lung cancer between smokers and a group of non-smokers could be 25 times higher in the smokers’ group. Therefore, lung cancer is 2,500 percent higher for those who smoke.
How Cancer Risk Is Determined
Determining what is the probability of getting cancer comes from studies focusing on large groups of people, allowing researchers to identify environmental factors such as smoking for lung cancer and sunlight or skin cancer that contribute to cancer.
In cancers with more subtle risks, researchers have used observational techniques to determine what types of people develop the disease, what those people have in common, and how they differ from those who are yet to develop the disease. Cancer Risk And You
Risk statistics can be frustrating because they cannot necessarily answer the question: What are the chances of me getting cancer? Just because there’s a 40 percent chance of developing cancer, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are in that 40 percent.
Your risk is determined by several factors, including age, lifestyle habits, family history and genetics, and your living environment. Even then, this may not affect your chances of having cancer.
Your doctor will discuss your chances of developing cancer and propose ways to reduce the risk. However, it’s not a sure guarantee that you won’t develop cancer at some point in your lifetime.
TruGenX Cancer Testing Services
You shouldn’t need to agonize over your odds of developing cancer, especially if you and your family were unknowingly born with genetic mutations, carrying an increased risk of developing specific types of cancer.
A hereditary cancer screening may alleviate the unknown and identify any risks in developing the disease.
Stop asking ‘how likely am I to get cancer?’, and order your hereditary cancer test kit today. Contact us to learn more.