What your cancer risk really looks like

What disease do Americans fear most?

Well, if you said cancer, you’d be correct.

In fact, MetLife conducted a survey that asked just that question and their results showed that a whopping 41 percent of us worry about ending up with the Big C — and with good reason.

Since we’re still in the early part of the New Year, 2019’s numbers are still being calculated. However, we do know that in 2018 alone, 9.5 million deaths worldwide were due to cancer.

And, when you combine those facts with what seems like an ever-growing list of lifestyle habits that can increase your risk of the disease, is it any wonder that wondering if you’re next can keep you up at night?

That’s why we’ve gathered the data from both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute to give you real answers on both what your chances are of actually developing the disease in your lifetime as well as how likely you are to die from cancer.

Will I get cancer?

First, let’s address the question of how likely you are to end up with a cancer diagnosis…

And, for that, we turned to the American Cancer Society.

Their numbers show that overall, just over 40 percent of people will get cancer sometime in their life — a little less than one in two odds.

However, those numbers do vary somewhat based on your sex.

Related: Antioxidant counter radiation ‘cancer boost’ from CT, PET, X-ray and more

If you’re women, your chances of getting cancer are just slightly lower at just over one in three or 38.7 percent.

The cancer risk for men rings in at exactly 40.14 percent overall but changes based on the specific type of cancer.

So for example, prostate cancer comes with an 11.6 percent risk while lung or bronchus cancer carries a 6.7 percent risk.

Women also need to be aware that their cancer risk varies between organs with their highest worry being breast cancer at 12.83 percent followed by lung and bronchus cancer at 6.05.

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How often does cancer kill?

Of course, once you’re diagnosed, your worry turns to how likely the disease is to steal your life. And, luckily, that’s where the numbers are at least a bit more encouraging.

For women, although the cancer risk is over 38 percent, the risk of dying from it is only approximately 18.33 percent. When it comes to men, the lifetime risk of cancer death is 21.34 percent, compared to their over 40 percent chance of developing cancer in the first place.

Related: Proof exercise can slay cancer

Fortunately, the experts say that the odds of surviving cancer are improving.

In fact, between 2009 and 2015, the five-year survival rate for a cancer diagnosis climbed to 67.1 percent, likely due to better screening, improved cancer therapies and reductions in tobacco use. Not too mention the spread of information on how to live a cancer-free lifestyle…

Decreasing your cancer risk

And, with that said, when it comes to cancer, there are things you can do to improve your odds of warding off the disease, from stopping smoking and limiting alcohol to getting plenty of exercise.

To increase your chances of beating cancer even further, you can even leverage the power of nutrients proven to stop cancer in its tracks, like anthocyanins and curcumin. For a full list, be sure to check out the extensive research by my colleague, Joyce Hollman.

You should also be sure to remove cancer from your shopping list by skipping all processed meats, which have been repeatedly linked to the disease in scientific studies.

So, now that you have the exact numbers and know your cancer risk, it’s time to let the worry go and instead use the tips above to overcome it, kick it to the curb, and show the Big C that you won’t be another victim.

Editor’s note: Advancements in cancer treatment and prevention happen every day. Problem is, you’re not hearing about most of them. Click here to discover natural and alternative ways to avoid and beat cancer, including minerals, herbs, supplements, foods and proven therapies — all in one comprehensive guide, Surviving CancerFor a preview, click here!


  1. Exercise and Cancer — MD Anderson Cancer Center
  2. Lifetime Risk of Developing or Dying From Cancer — American Cancer Society
  3. This Is How Likely You Are to Get Cancer in Your Lifetime — Best Life
  4. What America Thinks: MetLife Foundation Alzheimer’s Survey — MetLife Foundation
  5. Taking cancer off your shopping list — Easy Health Options®


Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.