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Cancer is a general term used to refer to a condition where the body's cells begin to grow and reproduce in an uncontrollable way. These cells can then invade and destroy healthy tissue, including organs.
Cancer sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other parts. This process is known as metastasis.
Cancer is a common condition and most of us will know someone who has had the disease. In 2009, 320,467 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the UK. More than one in three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.
We all know that cancer is a cruel disease which can kill, and which can cause great pain and suffering. But many types of cancer can increasingly be treated and cured, especially if they are diagnosed at an early stage.
Cancer Research, a leading cancer charity, provide advice on how to Spot Cancer Early with advice on how patients, their relatives and loved ones, and other professionals, can spot the signs of common cancers quickly.
If you are worried about issues with cancer, for yourself or another person, consult your GP as soon as possible. A full list of GPs is available on the NHS website - use the 'Find and choose services' option and click GPs.
Making some simple changes to your lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer. In other areas of the site you can find out more about eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and avoiding smoking; following the advice on these pages can help to lower your risk of developing life-threatening health conditions such as cancer.
The NHS website provides detailed information on all of the main types of cancer and the treatments available.
Cancer Research UK is a leading world charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, providing information and influencing public policy.
They provide advice on how to Spot Cancer Early, with advice on how patients, their relatives and loved ones, and other professionals, can spot the signs of common cancers quickly.
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer. They provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care.
They have the MacMillan Cancer Care Navigator service, in partnership with Imperial College NHS Trust, to provide a single contact number to deliver a better experience for people with cancer in north west London - tel 020 3313 0303
Marie Curie Cancer Care provide free nursing care to cancer patients and those with other life-limiting illnesses in their own homes.
Breast Cancer Care provide information on breast cancer, and on support services in your area.
Break Through are a charity funding breast cancer research in the UK, campaigning to improve survival rates and educating all women to recognise the signs and symptoms of the disease.