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World Cancer Day

There are events taking place across the UK to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and care. Alongside this, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the organisation behind World Cancer Day, will be working hard to dispel some of the myths surrounding cancer and raising awareness of exactly why tackling this health problem is so important.

Cancer affects more than one in three people during their lifetime. The prognosis is different depending on the type of condition; while many patients are able to make a full recovery, other forms are not as treatable. Research is currently underway to understand exactly what causes cancer, and how it can be prevented or cured.

What is cancer?

Put simply, cancer is a condition where cells grow and reproduce too quickly in a specific part of the body. As these cells multiply, they can destroy healthy cells and invade healthy tissue and organs, preventing the body from functioning normally.

One of the major problems regarding cancer treatment is that the causes are so complex - there are over 200 different types of cancer, and rather than one specific factor the condition is often caused by a combination of different environmental influences. Age, genetics, lifestyle and the immune system are all worth considering when seeking a cause or preventative measure against cancer.

Treatment is as varied as the cause, and depends entirely on how far along the cancer has progressed. The major options are:

Drugs: These might include chemotherapy, hormone therapies or even transplants, and are designed to stop the cancerous cells from multiplying

Radiotherapy: This uses radiation to destroy cancerous cells, and can be applied externally or internally. It can also be used to alleviate symptoms.

Surgery: This can be used to assess, shrink or remove the cancerous tissue from the body.

How can I help?

If you wish to promote World Cancer Day, it's not too late - you can attend one of the many events taking place around the world, or you could even set your own up. Whether you're raising money or advocating a better understanding of the disease, your efforts really can make a difference - take a look at how to get involved here.

Resources

http://www.worldcancerday.org

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/causes-symptoms/causes/what-causes-cancer

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/treatment/

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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