What is cancer?
Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms.
One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs. This process is referred to as metastasis. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer.
Cancer can have severe health consequences, and is a leading cause of death. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, uterine cervix, and stomach cancer are the most common among women.
More than 30% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, especially tobacco use. Early detection, accurate diagnosis, and effective treatment, including pain relief and palliative care, help increase cancer survival rates and reduce suffering.
Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, tailored to tumour stage, type and available resources.
Other cancer information and useful links
Contact the organisations listed on this page to find out more about the support you can receive.