When people think of the deadliest diseases in the world, their minds are likely to jump to the fast-acting, incurable diseases that make the headlines from time to time.
In fact, many of these types of diseases are not ranked among the top 10 causes of death worldwide. An estimated 56.4 million people died worldwide in 2015, 68% of whom were due to slowly progressing diseases.
Perhaps most surprisingly, many of the deadly diseases are partially preventable.
Factors that cannot be prevented include where a person lives, access to preventive care, and the quality of health care.
Learn about 10 deadly diseases that have no cure despite all the advances in medical and pharmaceutical technology today.
10 diseases that have no cure!
Ischemic heart disease, or coronary artery disease
The deadliest disease in the world is coronary artery disease (CAD). Also known as ischemic heart disease, CAD occurs when the blood vessels supplying the heart narrow.
Untreated, CAD can lead to chest pain, heart failure and an abnormal heart rhythm.
Although it is still the leading cause of death, death rates have decreased in many European countries and the United States.
This may be due to better public health education, access to health care, and forms of prevention.
However, in many developing countries, CAD mortality rates are on the rise. Increased longevity, social and economic changes, and lifestyle risk factors all play a role in this rise.
A stroke occurs when an artery in the brain becomes blocked or leaks. This causes brain cells deprived of oxygen to die within minutes.
During a stroke, you experience sudden numbness and confusion, or difficulty walking and seeing. If left untreated, stroke can cause long-term disability.
In fact, strokes are the main cause of long-term disabilities. People who receive treatment within 3 hours of having a stroke are less likely to be disabled.
And reliable sources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 93% of people knew that sudden numbness on one side was a symptom of a stroke.
But only 38% know of all the symptoms that would lead them to seek emergency care.
Stroke prevention methods may include controlling high blood pressure with medication or surgery.
You should also maintain a healthy lifestyle, with regular exercise and a healthy, low-sodium diet.
Inflammatory diseases of the lower respiratory tract
A lower respiratory infection is an infection of the airways and lungs. The reasons could be due to:
- Flu or cold
Viruses usually cause lower respiratory infections. It can also be caused by bacteria.
Coughing is the main symptom of a lower respiratory infection. You may also feel shortness of breath, wheezing, and a feeling of tightness in your chest.
Untreated, lower respiratory infections can lead to respiratory failure and death.
One of the best preventive measures you can take against lower respiratory infections is to get a flu shot every year.
People at risk of developing pneumonia can also get a vaccine.
Also, wash your hands regularly with soap and water to avoid the transmission of bacteria, especially before touching the face and before eating.
Stay home and rest until you feel better if you have a respiratory infection, as rest improves healing.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term, progressive lung disease that makes breathing difficult.
Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are types of COPD. In 2004, about 64 million people from all over the world were living with COPD.
Even today, there is no cure for COPD, but its progression can be slowed with medication.
The best way to prevent COPD is to stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke and other lung irritants.
And if you have any of the symptoms of COPD, getting treatment as soon as possible increases your expectations.
Tracheal, bronchial and lung cancers
Respiratory cancers include cancers of the trachea, larynx, bronchi, and lungs.
The main causes are smoking, secondhand smoke and environmental toxins. But household pollution like fuel and mold also contribute.
A 2015 study indicates that respiratory cancer causes around 4 million deaths annually.
In developing countries, researchers expect an 81-100% increase in respiratory cancers due to pollution and smoking.
Many Asian countries, especially India, still use charcoal in cooking. Solid fuel emissions account for 17% of lung cancer deaths for men and 22% for women.
Aside from avoiding the fumes and tobacco products, it is not known if there is anything else that can be done to prevent lung cancer.
However, early detection can reduce symptoms of respiratory cancer.
Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect insulin production and use. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce insulin. The reason is unknown.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin cannot be used effectively.
Type 2 diabetes can be caused by a number of factors, including poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight.
While diabetes is not always preventable, you can control the severity of symptoms by exercising regularly and maintaining good nutrition.
Adding more fiber to your diet can help control blood sugar.
Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the diseases that do not have a cure until today!
When you think of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you might think of memory loss, but you might not think of losing a life.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and disrupts normal mental functions. This includes thinking, reasoning, and model behavior.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia – 60 to 80% of dementia cases are actually Alzheimer’s disease.
The disease begins with mild memory problems and difficulty remembering information. However, over time, the disease progresses and you may not have memory for long periods of time.
And a 2014 study found that the number of deaths in the United States due to Alzheimer’s disease may be higher than what has been reported.
There is currently no way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. One of the things that may be helpful in reducing the risk of developing the disease is eating a heart-healthy diet.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fats from meat and dairy products, and rich in good sources of fats like nuts, olive oil and lean fish may help you reduce your risk of more than just heart disease – it may protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease, too.
Dehydration caused by diarrheal diseases
If the diarrhea continues for more than a few days, your body loses a lot of water and salt. This causes dehydration that can lead to death.
Diarrhea is usually caused by an intestinal virus or bacteria that are transmitted through contaminated water or food. And it is especially prevalent in developing countries with poor health conditions.
Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5. About 760,000 children die from diarrheal diseases every year.
According to UNICEF, the best prevention is good hygiene. Good hand washing techniques can reduce the incidence of diarrheal diseases by 40%.
Improved sterilization, water quality, as well as access to early medical intervention can help prevent diarrheal diseases.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a lung condition caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. They are treatable airborne bacteria, although some strains are resistant to conventional treatments.
Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death among people living with HIV.
About 35% of HIV-related deaths are due to tuberculosis.
The best way to prevent TB is to get the BCG vaccine. It is usually given to children.
Cirrhosis – the deadliest disease in humans
Cirrhosis is caused by chronic or long-term scarring and liver damage. The damage may be due to kidney disease, or it can be caused by conditions such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism.
A healthy liver filters harmful substances from the blood and sends the healthy blood to your body. But when substances damage the liver, scar tissue forms.
As more scar tissue forms, the liver has to work harder to function properly. Ultimately, the liver may stop working.
You can avoid nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and fat.