What is Cancer?
Cancer is a medical condition that occurs when the genes in individual cells that make up the human body start to behave differently from normal cells. These cells begin to grow out of control and spread to other regions of the body.
How Does Cancer Occur?
Under normal circumstances, human cells grow and multiply, creating new cells. When cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced by the new ones.
However, in rare cases, this process goes awry, causing abnormal or damaged cells to grow and multiply at an accelerated rate. Once this occurs, these cells lose their normal function and may form abnormal clumps of tissue called tumours, which may be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).
Other than cancer, several different terms are used to describe cancers which occur in different parts of the body. A tumour is a growth that occurs at its original site in the body, while a carcinoma is a form of cancer that forms from epithelial cells. A sarcoma is a cancer that occurs in the connective tissues like muscles, while leukaemia and lymphoma are cancers that arise from blood and lymphatic cells respectively.
Cancerous tumours can spread to the surrounding tissues and migrate (metastasise) to distant parts of the body to form new tumours.
Types of Cancer
There are over 100 different forms of cancer. Typically, cancer types are named for the organs or tissues where they occur. Among the top 5 prevalent cancers are colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, and liver cancer.
Click on the "+" symbol to learn more about the different types of cancers.
Find out more about cancer symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment from the following A to Z list of cancer types.
Cancer Symptoms, Risks & Prevention
In-depth information on identifying cancer symptoms, reducing risk factors, early detection, and prevention of cancer.
Cancer Screening, Diagnosis & Treatment Technologies
Early detection, diagnosis, and prompt treatment of cancer can save your life. If you are regularly screened for cancer, it helps you to detect cancer early when it is easier to treat. There are well established screening tests which can be used to detect some of the common cancers found in Malaysia. Treatment options for cancer depends on the type of cancer and how far it has progressed.