Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Cancer Definition

Cancer is caused as a result of the abnormal growth of cells in your body tissue. There are hundreds of different types of cancer and they can start anywhere in your body. From breast cancer to lung cancer, thousands of people die each year in the UK because of this deadly disease. When cancer begins in a certain body organ, it starts to spread to other healthy body tissue. If the cancer is not found and treated early on, it could spread through the body tissue to the point that it cannot be stopped. That’s why it’s very important that people make an appointment with their doctor if they notice anything that looks unusual or strange on their bodies. A “tumour” is when lots of cancer cells form a mass of extra tissue and it starts to grow.

Why is cancer life threatening?

The vast majority of cancers are fatal. Unless they are removed early on and are prevented from spreading any further, there will come a point when the cancer has gone too far. The fact that the cancer has turned the healthy body tissue into cancerous body tissue means that the affected organs in the body will not be able to function properly. Cancer causes the immune system to stop working so that if you get other diseases and illnesses such as flu or even a cold, your body will not be able to cope with it and your immune system will not work to fight it off. Sometimes cancer patients are too weak or too ill to eat enough of the right foods that their body needs, and so they could even die of malnutrition rather than the actual cancer.

What are the most popular types of cancer in the UK?

Lung cancer is the most popular cancer in the UK and is the cause of an average of 40,000 deaths per year. Colorectal cancer is the second most popular cancer with nearly 20,000 people dying per year because of it. Breast cancer is the third most popular and prostate cancer, pancreas cancer and other cancers are less popular. There are almost 200,000 deaths in the UK each year because of cancer, and 27% of all deaths are a result of various types of cancer.

What help is available to sufferers of cancer?

There is much help available to those who are suffering from cancer. Hospitals and charities across the UK help children and adults that are victims of the life threatening disease. If the cancer has not spread very much, it can be treated and stopped. This wonderful work is done by many doctors and nurses throughout the country and different treatments help save people’s lives every year. Charities such as Macmillan UK and Cancer Research UK help thousands of patients each year and give them the support that they need. Volunteers offer to help serve dinners, talk to patients and help with other things that are so essential within the hospitals.