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Know Cancer

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease brought about by the division of abnormal cells in the body that invade nearby tissues. Changes to these cells can be due to natural factors such as growth and repair, aging and genetics. When cells continue to divide and grow unnecessarily, they lead to the development of clusters called tumors. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Malignant tumors can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.

Cancers can be grouped in terms of common and rare. Some cancers are specific to men and to women, but others can affect both genders. 
 

What are common symptoms of Cancer?

Symptoms of cancer may not manifest for all cancers and may not be indicative of it. Some general symptoms for cancer include:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Difficulty in eating and swallowing food, loss or appetite
  • Difficulty of pain when passing urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unusual swelling or lumps in the body
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Changes in bowel habits, constipation or diarrhoea
  • Changes to the skin such as sores or moles that bleed or grow


Cancer can be detected without the presence of symptoms. It is a disease that can affect any age group and while there are no proven ways to prevent cancer, adopting a healthy lifestyle and regular screenings can help to minimize it. Regular screenings can help find certain cancers early.

Cancer cases in Singapore have been increasing over the years with over 71,000 cases reported between 2013 to 2017*. Here is a look at the top 10 cancers affecting men and women.

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Besides top cancers such as breast cancer or lung cancer, there are more than 100 types** of cancer that has been documented that can affect different parts of the body; some of which are harder to detect. Here is a list of some uncommon cancers, and their symptoms and diagnosis.

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Cancer is a disease that can be silent for many years with little to no symptoms in its early stages. Getting screened regularly allows for early detection and more positive treatment outcomes.

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