For the human body to function normally, each organ must have healthy, functional cells. The cells usually have a short lifespan, and are replaced through cell division. Cancer is when cell division starts to become uncontrolled, causing the cells to grow and develop abnormally.
These cells can grow in an aggressive manner, crowding out normal tissues, becoming a tumour and eventually spreading to other parts of the body. In most cases, the cause of cancer is unknown. Scientists have, however, identified certain risk factors that are common among cancer patients.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. In 2012, the World Health Organisation International Agency for Research on Cancer revealed that there were over 14 million new cases that year alone, and a total of 8.2 million deaths caused by cancer in the same year. The top cancers in terms of the number of lives claimed are:
Cancers in Singapore
Top 10 Cancers in Singapore (2010 – 2014)
Top 10 Cancer Deaths in Singapore (2010 – 2014)
Ref: Singapore Cancer Registry Interim Annual Report, Trends in Cancer Incidence in Singapore 2010-2014