The Facts

What is Cancer

Cancer occurs when there is unregulated cell growth in the body. The body has specific genes called oncogenes that control the ability of cells to divide and grow. Genes called tumour suppression genes tell the cells to stop dividing. Cancer occurs when either the oncogenes are "turned on" when they aren't supposed to be, or the tumour suppression genes are "turned off" when they're supposed to be on. This results in excess growth in the form of tumours.

Cancer can affect almost any organ in the body. There are over 100 different types of cancers. The most common types of cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer.


Chemotherapy and Other Types of Cancer Treatment

The goal of cancer treatment is to kill cancerous cells while killing as few healthy cells as possible in the process. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are all used to treat cancer. Radiation therapy uses high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is treatment that uses anticancer medications. People with cancer receive treatment depending on their type of cancer, the cancer’s characteristics, the stage of cancer, and their personal circumstances.


Read more about what is cancer, types of cancer, and cancer treatment by clicking the links below.