What Are The Odds Of Cancer Striking Twice?

“You have cancer”? “Again”?? That’s not something anyone would want to hear even the first time around, much less a second. Cancer striking the same person twice is more prevalent than most people think. The odds are that cancer will strike one in every six people at least twice. In some patients, it can strike for a third or even fourth time.

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Most of the time, cancer can be attributed to two main factors – genetics and lifestyle. In the first case, certain people are genetically susceptible to certain types of cancers, like people who constantly get severely burned while tanning or those who have a naturally high melanoma rate, or even those who have a history of relatives who are predisposed to getting cancer. The second main factor is lifestyle – poor health or diet, not enough exercise or smoking and alcohol abuse – can greatly increase the likelihood of cancer.

But while being treated for one type of cancer, a second one can sometimes develop because of the radiation treatment itself. That’s why in our modern times, more than one type of radiation is used to combat cancer, even though only eight percent of those people would get it again from radiation exposure.

According to data recently published by Health Reporter, a new study indicated that that eight percent – or one out of 12 people already diagnosed with cancer – end up developing a second unrelated type of cancer and that the second one was responsible for death in fifty-five percent of those cases. That study included more than two million people, so it gives a fairly accurate measurement.

Although this might sound crazy, there is some reasoning that being struck with  a second, third, or more type of cancer is actually a sign that today’s modern treatments are actually getting better. Why? Because it ultimately means that people are living long enough now with proper treatment to even experience a second or more recurrence of the disease. Yes, additional forms of cancer means more specialized treatments, and those different treatments each come with their own special challenges.

The human body is a very complex thing, astronomically more so than the most intelligent of today’s computers. Just like computers, the human body remembers certain things such as radiation dosage, chemo, etc., so one type of treatment that worked in the past to cure melanoma won’t necessarily work the second time around to cure say, liver or pancreatic cancer (like the tumors shown below) simply because the human body has built up a resistance to what it might consider to be an attack on it.

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Luckily, new treatments and other techniques to combat cancer are being studied every day. The wide use of inventions like the web and social media help the world by joining people and specialists together to conceptualize new ideas and methods to finally put cancer in its place – the history books. Hopefully, one day years from now people will look back at this article and ask, “What’s Cancer?”