Understanding Cancer

What is Cancer?

Normally cells grow and reproduce in an orderly and controlled way that keeps the body healthy. When a cell becomes old or damaged it usually dies, but sometimes the system goes wrong and the cell is allowed to keep on dividing until a lump called a tumour starts to form. There are two types of tumours, benign and malignant.

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Bone Cancer

True bone cancers are very rare. Known as ‘primary bone cancers’, they start in bones or cartilage. There are several kinds, and each one will need a particular range of treatments.

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Brain Cancer

Brain cancer happens when brain and spinal cells grow out of control to form a tumour. These tumours don’t often spread to other parts of the body but they can sometimes spread through the brain tissue.

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Gynae cancer

Cancers found in a woman’s reproductive organs are called gynaecological cancers.

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Head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancers mostly grow inside your mouth, nose, throat or sinuses. Sometimes they start in the saliva glands or lymph nodes.

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Lung Cancer

Lung cancers are tumours that usually first appear in the lining of the bronchi or bronchioles. These are the small tubes in the lungs that breath passes through. As the tumours enlarge they can block off the bronchi and make breathing difficult. They commonly spread into the local lymph nodes and occasionally the chest wall. This reduces the airways capacity leading to shortness of breath and coughing.

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Lymphoma

Lymphoma is cancer that starts in the lymph glands or other organs of the lymphatic system. Some types of cancer can spread to lymph tissue, but cancers that start in these places and then spread to the lymph tissue are not lymphomas.

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Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissue of your pancreas, which is an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas secretes enzymes and hormones that are important for digestion - it breaks down sugar and other nutrients, helping you absorb them and controlling your blood sugar levels.

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Prostate cancer

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that helps make and store seminal fluid. Generally prostate cancer will develop from the gland cells.

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Skin Cancer

Most skin cancers come from over-exposure to UV light. This is usually from sun exposure, but can also be UV light from man-made sources, like tanning beds.

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