Cancer,( also known as a malignant tumor), is a group of diseases where abnormal cells grow in an uncontrolled manner with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body through the lymph of blood.

These abnormal cells can damage or invade the surrounding tissues, or spread to other parts of the body, causing further damage.

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start – for example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer that begins in melanocytes of the skin is called melanoma.

Cancer types can be grouped into broader categories. The main categories of cancer include:

Carcinoma – cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. There are a number of subtypes of carcinoma, including adenocarcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and transitional cell carcinoma.

Sarcoma – cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.

Leukemia –
cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.

Lymphoma and myeloma – cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.

Central nervous system cancers – cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Causes of Cancer

It is sometimes impossible to prove what caused the cancer in any individual, because most cancers have multiple possible causes. However it is not a transmissible disease. There are at least a 100 types of different cancers.

In Australia the most common are Skin cancer- melanoma, Prostate cancer, Breast Cancer, Colon cancer and Lung cancer.

The great majority of cancers, say 90–95% of cases, are due to environmental factors such as

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Infections
  • Radiation
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Alcohol
  • Hormones
  • Sedentary lifestyle- lack of physical activity
  • Stress.
  • The remaining 5–10% are due to inherited genetics.

    Prevention is better than cure

    The risk of developing many types of cancer can be reduced by practicing healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking. Also, the sooner a cancer is found and treatment begins, the better the chances are that the treatment will be successful.