Cancer Education Resources

Information and resources on cancer

This page provides information about cancer. It was designed to give people all the basic info they may require their health condition. It serves healthcare professionals and ordinary citizens seeking to learn about it.

Cancer Biology

There are more than one hundred different diseases that will qualify as cancer due to their biological properties. Such properties include cell death (impaired apoptosis), uncontrolled cell growth, and the ability to metastasise to faraway locations and attack other tissues. Cancer education covers learning topics such as melanoma, colorectal cancer, neck and head cancer, lung cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and oesophageal cancer.

Cancer Treatment Planning

There are many factors to be considered before determining the right treatment for cancer. Such factors include;

  • Tumour factors – these include the histological diagnosis, which is the type of cancer it is, and staging, which is the extent of its spread.
  • Individual factors – the general performance and health status of the person
  • Treatment factors – the available treatment regimens available for the particular type of cancer.

The consideration of all these factors usually requires multidisciplinary meetings in which each cancer case is considered from the diagnosis to which treatment will give the best results.

Cancer Treatment

The disease is a complex one, so it usually requires various treatments that include radiotherapy, surgery, and systemic molecular and biological targeted therapies. Most times, the treatments are combined and last for a very long period. Transplantation of Haematopoietic stem cells is also used to treat malignancies of the bone marrow and blood. The treatment can have different goals which are; control, curative, and palliative.

Impacts of Cancer Diagnosis

Diagnosing a person with cancer has a significant impact on such a person, their friends and family. These effects can go on through the treatment process to after the person has survived the disease.

Statistics on Cancer

All information on cancer is collected and analysed so as to understand the occurrence and the associated mortality and morbidity. In order to access these data resources, there are different sources available, and they include;

  • Australian Cancer Database – State and territory population-based cancer registries
  • Clinical cancer registries
  • Australian Paediatric Cancer Registry
  • Cancer screening registries
  • Biospecimen databases

Survivorship

 In the past, cancer was a fatal disease. However, this has changed in recent times. Statistics show that cancer survival rates had risen from 47% in 1985 to 66% in 2012. This significant improvement is a result of advances in early detection, treatment, and prevention. Cancer survivorship is gradually emerging as a cancer care field, with research showing that about 20 per cent of cancer survivors have continuous side effects 1-5 years after diagnosis. There is also international evidence that shows the needs to deal with cancer survivors’ issues during and after acute treatment.