ABOUT Cancer


Our bodies are made up of tiny cells that we can’t see with our eyes; you need a microscope to see them. Cells make up our skin, our organs, our blood and our bones.

Normal cells grow in a cycle; they grow, divide, die and do that over and over again. Cancer cells are different; they grow and divide and keep growing and dividing and get out of control. This is called abnormal cell growth. The abnormal cells that grow very fast and out of control are called cancer, and If found late and left untreated they can lead to death.


 

what is cancer?

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not all cancer is the same

Cancer is abnormal cell growth in your body. Normally your cells grow and then divide and then die. Cancer cells don't die after dividing. They keep growing and dividing and get out of control.

Cancer can be caused by lots of things like smoking or asbestos although we don't know the exact cause of most cancers.

Most people survive cancer, especially if it is found and treated early.

Select the button below to view or download a plain language 'What is Cancer?' fact sheet.

 
 
 

types of cancer

There are over 100 different types of cancer. Some are very rare and some are much more common.

Some cancers affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more than other Australians. Other cancers are less likely to affect them.

The most common cancers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are lung, breast and bowel cancer.

Some cancers only affect men and some only women.

 
 
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Breast cancer

Breast cancer can affect both men and women but it is much more common for women.


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Bowel cancer

Bowel cancer usually affects older people but can be found in younger people as well.


Lung cancer

Lung Cancer is one of the most common cancers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


Cervical cancer (Women)

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.


Prostate cancer (Men)

Prostate cancer is hard to detect and even more alarming is, it's common with 1 in 5 men at risk.


Head and Neck cancer

Head and Neck cancers are many different types cancers, that can grow in these areas.


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Leukaemia

Leukaemia is a problem with how white blood cells are made. if they aren't made properly, they cannot function properly.

 

cancer treatment

 
 

there are many different types of cancer treatment

The most common forms are surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

There are also things you can do to help your body fight cancer like eating well and stop smoking.

 

Surgery is an operation to cut out a cancer. What type of surgery you have will depend on the size and location of the cancer and if it has spread in your body.

Chemotherapy (chemo) is a strong medicine that kills cancer cells. It is usually given as an injection into a vein but is sometimes given as a tablet.

Radiotherapy uses powerful energy rays to kill cancer cells.

 
 
 
 

cancer myths

There are many stories and myths about cancer and why our people get cancer, but we need to know why they are not always right. 

Part of the work of NICaN is to make sure all the facts are available to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Test your knowledge below and learn more about cancer.

 
 

CANCER IS A DEATH SENTENCE

 


CANCER IS A WHITE MANS DISEASE

 


CANCER IS A FORM OF PAYBACK OR A CURSE

 


CANCER IS CONTAGIOUS - YOU CAN CATCH CANCER

 


NOW THAT I HAVE CANCER THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT

 


I don't need to tell the doctor about my bush medicine, I'll just use it and say nothing


Our bodies are sacred: I should just leave things like cancer alone

 
 
 
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Preventing cancer

Did you know there are things you can do to reduce the risk of getting cancer? It's true and they arn't that hard either. Let's go through them

 
 

Not Smoking

One of the biggest causes of cancer is smoking

 

Eating Healthy and Drinking less Alchohol

Having a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet helps prevents cancer

 
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Physical Exercise

Physical exercise works with healthy eating to prevent cancer

 

Be sun smart

Protecting yourself from sunlight helps to prevent cancer

 

Other risks to be careful of

Remember to not only play safe, but work safe too, it helps prevent cancer aswell