Cancer is a disease that results from abnormal growth and division of cells that make up the body's tissues and organs. Under normal circumstances, cells reproduce in an orderly fashion to replace old cells, maintain tissue health and repair injuries. However, when growth control is lost and cells divide too much and too fast, a cellular mass or tumour is formed.If the tumour is confined to a few cell layers and it does not invade surrounding tissues or organs, it is considered benign. By contrast, if the tumour spreads to surrounding tissues or organs, it is considered malignant, or cancerous. In order to grow further, a cancer develops its own blood vessels and this process is called angiogenesis. When it first develops, a malignant tumour may be confined to its original site. If cancerous cells are not treated they may break away from the original tumour, travel, and grow within other body parts. The process is known as metastasis.
Click on the below links to find more about the individual cancers
Psychological and Emotional Issues
Most people when diagnosed with cancer, experience a combination of new and confused emotions during what may be a highly stressful period. A diagnosis of cancer can also affect family members such as a spouse of children, who may often find dealing with the diagnosis even more stressful than the patients themselves. This can often add to the burden of anxiety and so is important to address and understand.
Suggestions for Patients
You may have many questions about your care. Your doctor and treating team will be guided by how much you want to know and the questions that you ask.
Make a list of questions to take to your appointment and perhaps take someone with you so that you don't miss anything. Don't be afraid to ask a number of questions or even to ask the same one twice. There are a number of good sources that can help answer questions, available through your local or state cancer information service. Hospital and community services may offer emotional support either individually or through support groups and networks. Sharing feelings, experiences and ideas can be valuable; spiritual belief may also bring comfort.
Suggestions for Family and Friends
Avoid trying to keep things from the patient. Often trying to 'protect' the patient often makes their fears even worse. Patients appreciate the opportunity and have a right to make important decisions that affect their lives. Continue to involve the patient in activities you shared and enjoyed in the past. Make specific offers of help that may be easy for the patient to accept, such as a lift or help with heavy bags etc.