Six ‘short-lived’ cancers and the warning signs you should never ignore

A cancer diagnosis is a bitter blow to anyone, and not so long ago it would have meant that the chances of survival were slim.

Although research has shown increased survival rates and now that half of people will have cancer at some point in their lives, half of these people will outgrow the disease.

That means survival rates have doubled over the past four decades—just a quarter of people living 10 years or more after a cancer diagnosis in the 1970s.

However, this still varies greatly depending on the type of cancer and how early it is diagnosed. Cancer Research UK (CRUK) states that survival ranges from 98 percent for testicular cancer to just one percent for pancreatic cancer. In fact, a quarter of cancers – known as ‘short-surviving cancers’ – have an average five-year survival rate of only 16 percent.

To draw attention to this, January 11 was marked as the first Short Surviving Cancer Awareness Day, aimed at promoting the importance of early diagnosis to improve survival and quality of life for people with six ‘short-surviving cancers’. The importance is to highlight – the lungs, liver, brain, esophagus, pancreas and stomach.

The Short Surviving Cancer Taskforce (LSCT) states that over 80,000 people are diagnosed with these cancers each year in the UK and are responsible for almost half of all common cancer deaths.

LSCT, formed by charities that support patients with these cancers, says a big reason these cancers have low survival rates is that they are generally more difficult to diagnose. People who have a short-lived cancer are twice as likely not to be diagnosed until their symptoms are severe enough to go to the hospital, compared to someone with a longer-lived cancer.

LSCT President Anna Jewell said: “Early diagnosis can make a huge difference in life expectancy for people with short-lived cancer, so it is important that everyone is aware of the symptoms and seek medical help as soon as possible if they have any concerns. “

Dr. Rachel Orritt, health information manager at CRUK, says: “There are many different possible symptoms of cancer, so it’s important to get your doctor’s advice if you notice anything out of the ordinary. It probably won’t be cancer. But if it is, So early detection means that treatment is more likely to be successful.

“This is a very difficult time for the NHS, but this should not deter people from seeking help if they have noticed something unusual or are concerned that they may have cancer. If getting a GP practice or appointment is difficult, try Keep doing it. An earlier diagnosis can make all the difference.”

The LSCT warns that there may be some early signs of cancer with short survival, which have limited or non-existent screening programs, and says that most people are unaware of the usual warning signs – last year the taskforce conducted research. awareness of the symptoms of The deadliest cancers were as low as four percent.

“We know that delaying diagnosis leads to very poor outcomes for patients with these rapidly growing cancers,” Jewell says.

“These cancers are currently difficult or impossible to treat in their later stages, and the time from diagnosis to death is often brutally short compared to more surviving cancers. We all need to be aware of the symptoms of these deadly cancers and seek treatment. If they recognize any symptoms then get help as soon as possible.”

So, what are the warning signs of short-lived cancer?

Remember, these things do not by themselves mean that you have cancer and can be caused by many things. But for peace of mind and to make sure any problems are picked up early, it’s always best to get these potential warning signs checked out immediately.

Many cancers with short survival are not noticed until someone goes to the hospital


vision and speech problems, headache, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and mental or behavioral changes.


Unexpected weight loss, loss of appetite, feeling and being sick, stomach pain or swelling, jaundice, itchy skin, tiredness, fever, vomiting blood, and dark urine.


Persistent cough, coughing up blood, chest pain, unexpected weight loss, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, feeling tired or weak.


Difficulty swallowing, indigestion or heartburn, loss of appetite, vomiting, stomach, chest, or back pain, persistent cough, hoarseness, tiredness, and shortness of breath.


Back or stomach pain, loss of appetite, unexpected weight loss, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), indigestion, change in bowel habits.


Indigestion that doesn’t go away, Air trapped, Heartburn, Feeling bloated or full very quickly when eating small amounts, Feeling or being sick, Abdominal pain or pain behind the chest, Difficulty swallowing, Unexpected weight loss.

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