Cancer is a generic name given to a group of more than 100 different types of diseases that involve uncontrolled multiplication of abnormal cells.
In most cases, the cancer cells form a tumour. Some tumours are benign – non-cancerous, while others are malignant – malignant tumours are cancerous. Cancer usually results in the affected area growing in size, affecting the original and adjacent organs and can spread to other sites of the body.
Cancer treatment often involves a combination of therapies, such as: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and other supportive measures.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia and although uncommon can occur in men. For Australians aged 85, the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 1 in 8 for women and 1 in 688 for men.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia. Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells in the prostate gland grow more quickly than normal cells forming a malignant tumour.
Also known as colorectal cancer, bowel cancer is a malignant growth that occurs in colon or rectum (the large bowel). Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world and it is the second most common cancer in Australia.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. This is largely due to our climate, way of life, and the fact that many of us have fair skin. If detected and treated early, most skin cancers can be cured.
Lung cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Australia and is responsible for almost 1 in 5 cancer deaths. Lung cancer occurs when cells in the lung grow abnormally and divide in an uncontrollable way.
Other cancers include Brain Tumours, Gynaecological Cancers, Head and Neck Cancer, Lymphoma and other blood cancers like Multiple Myeloma.
Read more about cancer treatment procedures, click here.