The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning takes place on Friday 28th September, which is a good opportunity to reflect on a disease that affects a vast number of us. The aim of the Coffee Morning is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, which strives to ensure that anyone diagnosed with cancer does not have to face it alone. Information on how to host your own coffee morning can be found here.
Macmillan does a lot of amazing work supporting patients and family members of those who are diagnosed with cancer: they are there from the initial diagnosis to during and after treatment offering support, information and guidance regarding a range of different issues from financial, to just having someone explain the next steps.
What Is Cancer?
The human body consists of many cells which make up the organs and tissues, these cells divide and multiply in controlled manner to help the body grow, heal and repair itself. However, when this cell division becomes abnormal it results in an increase in abnormal cells being produced. The abnormal cells keep dividing and eventually form a lump which is also known as a tumour. A tumour can be malignant (cancerous) which can spread to other parts of the body, or benign (not cancerous) so will not spread. A biopsy is usually done to check which type of tumour is present.
Who Gets Cancer?
According to Cancer Research UK, the latest figures state than 1 in 2 people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime and every year around 360,000 people are diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer can occur at any age and can affect anyone, however, the risk of getting cancer increases with age and the majority of cases are in people aged 50 and over.
The most common types of cancer are breast, lung, prostate and bowel but altogether there are over 200 different types and each is diagnosed and treated differently.
Signs and Symptoms of Cancer:
Noticing any changes to normal body processes or any unexplained symptoms could be an early sign of cancer. There are many different symptoms which can indicate cancer, but common symptoms which should be checked include:
- unexplained bleeding
- unexplained weight loss
- a lump or swelling
- unexplained pain
- coughing / breathlessness
Some of these symptoms might be a result of something else but it is good to have them checked by a GP.
It is estimated that 1 in 4 cancers can be prevented by changes in lifestyle. Preventative changes include not smoking, keeping healthy body weight, eating a healthy well balanced diet, reducing alcohol intake, enjoying the sun safely and keeping active / exercising regularly.
Information and Support on Cancer:
For more information on anything related to cancer please visit the following websites: