Cancer is a disease that results from the abnormal growth and division of cells that make up the body's tissues and organs. Under normal circumstances, cells reproduce in an orderly fashion to replace old cells, maintain tissue health and repair injuries.
However, when growth control is lost and cells divide too much and too fast, a cellular mass or tumour is formed.
If the tumour is confined to a few cell layers and it does not invade surrounding tissues or organs, it is considered benign. By contrast, if the tumour spreads to surrounding tissues or organs, it is considered malignant or cancerous. In order to grow further, a cancer develops its own blood vessels and this process is called angiogenesis. When it first develops, a malignant tumour may be confined to its original site.
If cancerous cells are not treated they may break away from the original tumour, travel, and grow within other body parts, the process is known as metastasis.
Cancer screening is the performance of tests on apparently well people in order to detect a medical condition at an earlier stage.
Click on the below links to find more about the individual cancers.
Oesophageal cancer (also called cancer of the oesophagus) is a malignant tumour that grows in the lining of the oesophagus. The oesophagus (the gullet) is the tube that carries food from the mouth down into the stomach using a series of muscular movements.
Two types of cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, make up 90% of all oesophageal cancers. Oesophageal cancer can occur in any section of the oesophagus. Most cancers in the top part of the oesophagus are squamous cell cancers. They are called this because the cells lining the top part of the oesophagus are squamous cells. Squamous means scaly.
Most cancers at the end of the oesophagus that join the stomach are adenocarcinomas. Adenocarcinomas are often found in people who have a condition called Barrett's oesophagus.