Cancer is one of the most serious diseases that people may face in their lives. While many will not encounter ebola, smallpox or flesh-eating bacteria, almost everyone will know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Survival rates are highest when cancer is detected and treated early. If you face a higher risk of cancer -- maybe you're a smoker, or have a family medical history of cancer -- knowing the symptoms is important so you can seek treatment at the first signs of trouble. Once people are diagnosed with cancer, their doctors can work with them to come up with treatment plans to increase their chances of being cured.

Cancer is one of the most serious diseases that people may face in their lives…

While many will not encounter ebola, smallpox or flesh-eating bacteria, almost everyone will know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Survival rates are highest when cancer is detected and treated early. If you face a higher risk of cancer -- maybe you're a smoker, or have a family medical history of cancer -- knowing the symptoms is important so you can seek treatment at the first signs of trouble. Once people are diagnosed with cancer, their doctors can work with them to come up with treatment plans to increase their chances of being cured.

Symptoms of cancer in its early stages can often be mistaken for other diseases, which is why the disease sometimes goes undiagnosed until its later stages. The most common early signs of cancer can include: feeling tired and run down without any real cause, lumps or a thickening under the skin, sudden and unplanned weight changes, a persistent cough, difficultly in swallowing, unexplained muscle and joint pains, persistent difficulty in swallowing and unexplained night sweats. If you have any two of these, you should consult a medical professional.

The top five cancer treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, hormone therapy, and biological therapy. Most cancer treatments can be harsh, and may even cause patients to feel worse before feeling better. Radiation, an important and proven treatment, can make patients ill from the high energy x-rays needed to kill cancerous cells. Other side effects from radiation are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes and hair loss, all of which can cause further distress to cancer patients. Another cancer treatment that kills cancer cells but can also kill healthy cells is chemotherapy. While proven affective as a treatment, chemotherapy will have side effects such as anemia, hair loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. Other therapies are less drastic to the body, but these are usually used in conjunction with chemo, surgery and radiation. If you are concerned about cancer and cancer treatments, take our quiz below.