Cancer is a condition where the body’s cells multiply beyond control. Cell regeneration is an important function throughout the body. However, this regeneration is normally controlled by important mechanisms in a healthy body. In cancer, the control over this process is lost leading to an excess of cells, no longer serving the purpose of the surrounding tissue.
There are many different types of cancer, and this reflects the fact that cancer may originate from almost any type of tissue in the body. Each cancer has unique properties both in how it affects the body and what may lead to its development.
Sometimes tumours caused by excessive cell generation are benign – this means they remain in the location they were generated and do not spread further. In contrast, cancer cells are referred to as malignant, meaning the cells are capable of spreading beyond the tissue where they developed.
If you would like to know more about cancer, the Cancer Council Australia and Cancer Australia both have additional information on cancer and some of its more common types.