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Genes are made up of DNA. Our genes play a crucial role in determining our physical traits. Our genes are inherited from our parents. Cancer is a genetic disease that is caused by a disruption to the operation of cells, causing them to grow and divide in unusual ways.




The grade of your cancer is a medical description of how your cancer cells appear under a microscope. The more abnormal they are, the higher the grade.

Cancer cells are typically graded from 1 (low-grade) to 3 (high-grade). Low-grade cancer cells grow more slowly and are less likely to spread to other areas within the body. Higher grade cells are more aggressive and likely to spread quickly.


Hormone therapy

Some cancers, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, can benefit from hormone therapy. Hormone therapy (also called endocrine therapy) uses medicines to block or lower the number of specific hormones in the body to slow or stop the growth of specific forms of cancer.


Imaging tests

Depending on the suspected cancer, imaging tests (scans) may be required. Imaging tests used to detect cancer include bone scans, computerised tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scan, ultrasound and X-rays.

A clinician will use a combination of these methods to arrive at a definitive diagnosis of cancer.


Immune system

Our immune systems protect us from bacteria, viruses and parasites, keeping us healthy.



Immunotherapy is another name for biotherapy. Immunotherapies stimulate the body’s immune system to act against cancer cells.



Lumps in the body can have several causes. Cysts and tumours are common forms of lumps that can develop. In many cases, new lumps aren’t cancerous; however, if you notice a new lump, then it should be checked by a medical professional.


Lymph glands (nodes)

Lymph glands are found throughout the body and are part of the immune system. In some cases, cancer can spread to the lymph glands (or lymph nodes).



Lymphoma is a form of cancer that starts in the cells that fight infections in the body’s immune system.



Melanoma is a severe type of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. The most common symptom of melanoma is a mole on the skin.


Metastatic cancer

Metastatic cancer is a medical term for secondary cancer. Metastatic tumours are those that have spread from one part of the body to another part of the body. If this happens, your doctor may say your cancer has metastasised.

Multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma (also known as myeloma) is a form of bone marrow cancer. It’s called multiple myeloma because the disease often spreads across the body, affecting bones in the spine, skull and pelvis.


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