There are many different types of cancer. Cancer can be a scary word, but it’s much better to find out if you have it. All cancers start out small and grow and the sooner they are caught, the better your chance of doing well.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a group of conditions 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.

Spotting signs of cancer

Some changes to your body can be a sign of cancer and it is important to get them checked out by a doctor. Go to symptoms of cancer for information on spotting cancer.

Reduce your risk of cancer
Making some simple changes to your lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer. Eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and avoiding smoking will all help to lower your risk.

How common is cancer? 
Cancer is a common condition. Around 298,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK. More than one in three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

The most common cancers in the UK are:

  • breast cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • lung cancer
  • bowel cancer
  • bladder cancer
  • uterine (womb) cancer

Treatments for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.