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Cancer health centre

Cancer overview

Cancer is the name given to any illness caused by the abnormal growth of cells in your body. For people born after 1960, there is now a 50% chance of being diagnosed with some type of cancer during their life. Breast, lung, bowel and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer. Cancer symptoms vary widely based on the type of cancer and treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

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1 in 3 worry about talking to someone with cancer

More than a third of people say they lack the confidence to give a relative or friend with cancer the emotional support they might need, says a leading charity.

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Cancer symptoms

What are the symptoms of cancer?

In its early stages, cancer usually has no symptoms, but eventually a malignant tumour will grow large enough to be detected. As it continues to grow, it may press on nerves and produce pain, penetrate blood vessels and cause bleeding, or interfere with the function of a body organ or system.

The earlier a cancer is detected, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful. Understanding what symptoms and changes to your body to look out for could be important.

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