Symptoms and causes

What is it?

The smalles building block in the human body is the cell. Each cell has a specific job and a determined lifespan. When a body's cell is damaged or is too old and is no longer functioning normally, it dies and is replaced by a new cell. This is how an organ's normal activity is preserved.

Sometimes, a cell behaves abnormally and begins to multiply uncontrollably, forming a mass or tumour. A tumour can be benign, but if it develops the ability to invade the surrounding healthy tissues, it is referred to as a malignant tumour or cancer. Cancer cells can spread in the human body (by lymph vessels or blood vessels, for example) and form new tumours in other organs (metastases).

Cancer is the result of a deep and complex functional disorder of certain cells.

Diagnosis and treatment

Cancer can be treated through oncological surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Sometimes, several combined modalities are necessary (e.g. surgery and radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy and radiotherapy...). Each cancer is unique and has a different prognosis and treatment. There can also be a lot of variation within the same cancer (different subtypes, different stages).

Treatment centres and specialisations

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021