Cancer is a disease which results from the growth of abnormal which become uncontrollable. Most cancers form an abnormal mass of  solid tissues. But, others such as cancers of the blood including leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are liquid. 

Key facts about cancer include:

  • Cancer results from normal cells that become uncontrollable due to gene mutation
  • Cancer cells can move from one part of the body to another
  • It is not inherited but you can be genetically predisposed
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world after cardiovascular diseases and surpasses aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined
  • According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 18.1 million new cancer cases were reported in 2018 worldwide with an estimated 9.6 million deaths. By 2040, this figure is expected to increase to 27.5 million new cancer cases with an associated 16.3 million deaths.
  • Cancer affects everyone irrespective of gender, age, religion, race or wealth
  • The most common and leading cause of cancer deaths in females are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and cervical cancer.
  • The most common and leading cause of cancer deaths in males are, Lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer and stomach cancer
  • For both males and famales combined, lung cancer is the most common and leading cause of cancer death.
  • Lung cancer can be prevented by avoiding smoking or inhaling smoke from charcoal
  • Genetic predisposition account for only 5 of 10 % of breast cancer. Most causes include factors related physical inactivity, weight gain, alcohol intake, use of contraceptives, menstruation irregularities (such as early menstruation or late menopause), reproduction (the more children you have and the more you breast feed then the better).
  • Colorectal cancer can be prevented by avoiding red or processed meat, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding body fat and by being physically fit.
  • Prostate cancer is more common among men of African descent (ethnic and genetic predisposition). Another factor that causes prostate cancer is body fat and physical inactivity.
  • About 90 % of stomach cancer is caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Other factors include eating food preserved by salting, low fruit intake, alcohol intake and tobacco smoking.
  • Most common cause of liver cancer are chronic infections by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), aflatoxin contaminated foodstuffs, alcohol abuse, obesity, smoking and type 2 diabetes.
  • Cervical cancer is most commonly caused by the Human papillomavirus (HPV). Other risk factors include immune suppression, smoking, use of oral contraceptives, a higher number of full term pregnancies. Improve hygiene and safe sex will decrease the chance of having cervical cancer.
  • Society, Glob. Cancer Facts Fig., 2018, 4th Ed, 1–74
  • Bray, J. Ferlay, I. Soerjomataram, R. L. Siegel, L. Torre and A. Jemal, CA. Cancer J. Clin., 2018, 68, 394–424