Cancer is a class of diseases characterised by out of control cell growth. There are over 200 different types of cancer. Each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected.
harms the body when damaged cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except in the case of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream). Tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems. They can release hormones that alter body function. Tumors that stay in one spot and have limited growth are generally considered to be benign (not life-threatening or severe).
More dangerous or malignant tumours form when two things occur:
1. A cancerous cell manages to move throughout the body using the blood or lymph systems,
destroying healthy tissue in a process called invasion.
2. That cell manages to divide and grow, making new blood vessels to feed themselves
in a process called angiogenesis.
Spotting signs of cancer
Changes to your body's normal processes or symptoms that are out of the ordinary can sometimes be an early sign of cancer. For example, a lump that suddenly appears on your body, unexplained bleeding or changes to your bowel habits are all symptoms that need to be checked by a doctor.
In many cases, your symptoms won't be related to cancer and will be caused by other, non-cancerous health conditions. However, it is still important for you to see your doctor so that they can investigate your symptoms.
Cancer Health Organisations:
Macmillan Cancer Support
IARC - International Agency for Research on Cancer
National Cancer Institute: Comprehensive Cancer Information
NICE - The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
American Cancer Society - Information and Resources about for ...
Marie Curie: Care and support through terminal illness
UICC: Union for International Cancer Control