Even though advanced cancer treatment options are now available, the disease continues to be a heavy burden on society. Every year, thousands of patients die from cancer across the globe. In US alone, around 600,000 patients are estimated to have died due to cancer in 2021. Some of the most common cancers are breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
There are also various types of rare cancers that not many people know about. Rare cancers are classified as such if the total number of cases is less than 40,000 per year in United States. Due to lack of awareness, these cancers can prove even more deadly. To understand what you may be dealing with, here’s a look at some of the rare cancers and their symptoms.
Esophageal cancer – This relates to the esophagus, the muscular tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. Everything we eat and drink passes through the esophagus. Esophageal cancer cases are around 1% of the total cancer cases diagnosed in US every year. It is more prevalent in other parts of the world such as Iran, China, Africa and India. Common symptoms of Esophageal cancer include chronic cough, heartburn and difficulty swallowing.
Kaposi sarcoma – This cancer affects the cells that form the lining of lymph or blood vessels. This cancer generates a unique symptom wherein colored blotches / lesions develop on various parts of the body. The blotches can be on the legs, face mouth, nose, throat, or other organs of the body.
Glioblastoma – This is a type of brain tumor that is known to grow at an aggressive rate. Some of the common symptoms of Glioblastoma include nausea, headaches and memory loss.
Hepatoblastoma – A type of liver cancer, Hepatoblastoma affects children under three years of age. Around 50 to 70 cases are reported every year in United States. Common symptoms of Hepatoblastoma include loss of appetite, pain or swelling in abdomen and weight loss.
Thymic carcinoma – This cancer affects the outer cells of the thymus, a specialized primary lymphoid organ. It is part of the immune system and creates white blood cells. Thymic carcinoma is very aggressive and can rapidly spread to other parts of the body. Some common symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent cough, hoarseness, chest pain and swelling in chest, neck, face or arms.
Anal cancer – This affects the end part of the rectum known as anus. Around 9,000 cases of Anal cancer are estimated to have been diagnosed in 2021 in US. Common symptoms of Anal cancer include lump near the anus, itching and rectal bleeding.
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia – While this is rare, it is one of the most common cancers affecting children. It is a type of cancers of the bone marrow and blood. Common symptoms include tiredness, fever and easy bruising.
Chronic myeloid leukemia – This type of cancer affects the bone marrow. It leads of abnormal production of blood cells. Some common symptoms include night sweats, tiredness and weight loss.
If you are experiencing persistent symptoms, you need to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Try not to ignore such symptoms. With early diagnosis, such rare cancers can be successfully treated.