What is cancer?

Cancer is a general term for a large group of diseases, whose causes, characteristics and occurrence can vary greatly. There is no completely clear-cut definition of cancer. Cancer is particularly a disease of older people. Due to population ageing, we have seen an increase in cancer incidence.

What causes cancer?

Cancer is caused by accumulated damage to genes. Such changes may be due to chance or to exposure to a cancer causing substance.

Cancer screening

Mass screening for cancer focuses on specific cancers and their systematic detection in their early stages.

Cancer detection

Detecting cancer is a multi-stage process. Often, the patient will go to a doctor because of some symptom or other. Sometimes cancer is discovered by chance or from screening. The final cancer diagnosis is based on a pathologist’s opinion.

Cancer symptoms

Cancer has numerous symptoms. It may be asymptomatic for a long time or it may involve only very general symptoms, such as fatigue or weight loss.

Stages of cancer, differentiation and staging of cancer

Cancer has a number of different stages. Following exposure to the factor that causes cancer it usually takes a long time before the cancer begins to develop.

Types of cancer

Cancer is not a unitary disease but a large group of diseases that include many different cancers. Their causes, symptoms and forms of treatment differ from one another.

Lifestyles can reduce the risk of cancer

Lifestyles are important factors in the formation of many types of cancer. Behaviour and choice can affect our own cancer risks. But when it comes to individual cancers it is not possible to say for sure what causes the cancer.

Cancer genetics

According to current estimates, only about one in 10 cases of cancer is associated with hereditary predisposition. Cancer is not inherited.