Cancer is a broad term used to describe a collection of diseases that results when abnormal cells grow uninhibitedly.
'Cancer cells grow when they are not needed, remain when they should have died, do not stop multiplying and invade into surrounding normal tissue'
Typically cells grow and multiply in a controlled way. However, if something causes a mistake to occur in the cells’ genetic blueprint, this control can be lost and they grow when they are not needed, remain when they should have died, do not stop multiplying and start to invade into surrounding normal tissue.
Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body. Many cancers form solid tumours, which are masses of tissue. Cancers of the blood, such as leukaemia, generally do not form solid tumours. Most cancers start in a particular organ. This is called the primary site. Some types of cancer grow rapidly while others grow at a slower rate.
Sometimes people refer to tumours. Tumours can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Benign tumours do not spread outside their normal boundary to other parts of the body. Malignant tumours can spread beyond their normal boundaries and into surrounding tissue, becoming invasive cancer.
'Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world'
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world. But thanks to improvements in cancer screening and cancer treatment, survival rates are improving for many types of cancer.
Cancer affects a large number of Australians, both directly and indirectly.
If you are interested to know more about cancer and its symptoms, leave your questions in the comments section below or follow us on Facebook @moretonbaycancercare for updates
I am a dual-trained Medical Oncologist and Palliative Care Physician who is passionate about empowering people living with cancer through education