How Does a Person Die From Cancer?

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Cancer and The Organs

  • Cancer is a leading cause of death among Americans, with lung cancer responsible for 31% of cancer deaths, followed by prostate, colon, liver and pancreatic cancer. Yet, it is important to know exactly how cancer kills in order to understand ways to reduce cancer risks or detecting cancer at early stages.

Lung Cancer

  • A person can die from lung cancer if cancerous cells invade the lung tissue. The tissue is either suppressed by the cancerous cells so much that they cannot absorb oxygen or the tissue becomes infected and collapses. Advanced lung cancer can be so strong that the body is too weak to fight it, eventually causing death.

Liver Cancer

  • Liver cancer kills because of a chemical imbalance. The liver is designed to ensure your body's chemicals are at the right levels. A liver infected by cancerous cells (in the form of a tumor) causes liver cells to develop abnormally. Those cancer cells attack the healthy liver cells. This throws off the chemical balance, causing people to become unconscious or die. Those who are dying from liver cancer usually do not live past one year.

Pancreatic Cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer forms in the pancreas which is located deep in the body behind the stomach. The pancreas makes hormones that help process food into energy for the body. It also develops pancreatic juices which helps digest food. The pancreatic juice ducts is where pancreatic cancer typically develops. By infecting those digestive juices, pancreatic cancer can worsen as people eat, causing extreme weight loss and pain until death. Pancreatic cancer has one of the highest rates of death among the cancers, with fewer than 5% of patients living beyond 5 years after diagnosis.

Breast Cancer

  • Breast cancer forms in the tissues of the breast, starting off small and eventually forming into a tumor of rapidly growing cancer cells. The danger from breast cancer is that the cells spread beyond the soft tissue of the breast and into other body parts. Although over 200,000 women each year are diagnosed with breast cancer, approximately 80% of them survive.

Bone Marrow Cancer

  • Bone marrow cancer is especially dangerous. Bone marrow cancer prevents the body from making enough red blood cells, causing anemia. White blood cells are also affected, making it harder for the body to stave off any infections or viruses. Also, if any abnormal bleeding occurs, there may not be enough to stop it. This can cause death if there were abnormal bleeding in an important organ like the abdomen or lungs.

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