General cancer information

Understanding cancer star_border Save this page

There are many different types of cancers, which behave in different ways. This is why the experience of having cancer is not the same for everyone.

This section gives you some basic information about:

  • how cancers start and spread
  • how changes to genes can cause cancers
  • the effect of risk factors
  • how to understand cancer statistics you may come across.

Choose the option that best suits your situation

Learn about different types of cancers and how they start and spread.
Find out what you can do to reduce the risk of cancers developing or coming back.
Understand what happens if you have a cancer found through screening
Learn about the genetic changes that cause cancers, and why some people need genetic testing.
Learn about common statistics used by cancer health professionals.

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Your specialist uses the information from your tests to confirm your diagnosis.
Your specialist will discuss a treatment plan with you, and explain what this involves.
Looking after your general health is important, even when you have cancer.
Knowing a little about health professionals and the health system may help you feel more in control.