Our body is made up of millions of cells, grouped together to form tissues and organs such as muscles, bones, skin, and internal organs. These cells normally follow orders to grow, work, reproduce, and die. However, in the case of cancer, the cells will mutate and begin to multiply out of control. This leads to the formation of a cancerous tumour, which can then continue to grow and spread throughout the body (via the bloodstream or lymphatic system) if left unchecked.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, and nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
Cancer is not a single disease, but rather a general name for a group of more than 100 diseases. Each type of cancer is classified based on the cells where it originates. Untreated cancer can cause serious illness or death if it is not detected and treated promptly.
To learn about the different cancer types, please see below.