1 in 3 people will have cancer at some time in their lives. Most cancers occur in older people. According to the Scottish Health Statistics website, of all the people in Scotland who get cancer every year, only 0.6% (around 170) of these will be young people aged 15 - 24.
What Is Cancer?
When the cells in your body stop growing and dividing at the normal rate, they develop into a lump called a tumour. Tumours, or lumps, can either be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Cancer is the name given to a malignant tumour. Malignant tumours can spread to other parts of the body and also return after treatment, whereas benign tumours do not.
There are around 200 different types of cancer and they are all caused by this rapid increase of abnormal cells in the body.
The key thing to do if you are worried about a lump on your body is to get it checked out by your GP. Your risk of developing cancer may be affected by your family history so if you know that a family member has had cancer before then make sure you tell your doctor.
What can I do to prevent getting cancer?
You can help reduce your risk of getting cancer by:
This will reduce the risk but not necessarily prevent you getting cancer.
When you're trying to fight something such as cancer, that last thing you want to do is worry about money as well. Macmillan Cancer Support provide information and advice on financial issues to those with cancer and to those caring for others with cancer. You can get information on their website, contact a local Macmillan support centre or call the Macmillan helpline on 0808 808 0000.
If you are affected by someone else's cancer...
You may not have cancer yourself but someone in your family or one of your friends may have it. This can stressful and worrying. Support is out there for you too.
If you are affected by someone else's cancer then you can call Macmillan on 0808 808 0000 (Mon to Fri 9am -8pm). They will discuss your situation with you and be able to direct to specialist support if you need it.
We can’t cover information on every different type of cancer here, but here's a few good starting points:
Macmillan - The Macmillan website is pretty comprehensive. You can also call the helpline on 0808 808 0000 (Mon to Fri 9am - 8pm) which is run by specialist cancer nurses. You can also email via the website.
BBC Health Cancer Website - There are many different types of cancer so the BBC Health pages has general information and useful contacts to help you get further information and support.
youthhealthtalk: Cancer - Watch videos from young people talking about their experiences of cancer. Young Scot InfoLine - If you want to find an organisation or website that focuses on a specific form of cancer, call the Young Scot InfoLine on 0808 801 0338 (Mon to Fri 10am - 6pm).