What should you know about cancer?

Cancer is a condition where cells grow and reproduce uncontrollably. Cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs.This often begins in one part of the body before spreading.

There are more than 200 types of cancer. Half of all people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lives and one in four people will die from it. Of all deaths in North East Hampshire and Farnham, 31 per cent are as a result of cancer, and the numbers of people diagnosed with cancer are rising.

There are more people in the area living with cancer than Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart failure and dementia combined.

Despite this the area has one of the best one-year survival rates for cancer patients in England. Research has shown that 43 per cent of newly diagnosed cases of cancer are caused by avoidable life choices, such as smoking, drinking and poor diet. This means that if people work to improve their lifestyles by quitting smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol they drink and cutting down the quantities of fatty and sugary foods they eat, they can make a dramatic difference to their risk of developing cancer.

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