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Worried about cancer? Information about what to look for and where to get help

Why This Matters –

Overall cancer incidence rates in the UK have increased by more than a third since the mid-1970s. In 2010 there were 163,904 new cases and 82,481 male deaths from cancer. The risk of developing cancer before the age of 50 is 1 in 35 for men.

Survival rates are improving in the UK – 45.9% of men with cancer now have a five-year survival rate and 39.3% have a ten-year survival rate – but effective detection and treatment is everything.


The best help you can get is from experts. You can’t put a price on peace of mind. If you’re in doubt, if you think you may be ill or you just need a check- up – make an appointment with your GP and get it done.


  • About the Royal Marsden

    The Royal Marsden is a world-leading innovation centre dedication to a future beyond cancer. It pioneers new treatments that saves lives, using its research to provide the very best in diagnosis, treatment and care for its patients.

    The revolutionary way it treats people has far-reaching impact, nationally and internationally.

  • What is cancer?

    One in three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. Cancer is the name given to what happens when some of the body’s cells begin to divide with stopping, grow out of control and become invasive, spreading into surrounding tissues.

  • Can I prevent it?

    There are some things you can do to limit your risk. If you are concerned about any of these, your GP should be able to provide you with information and support.

    • Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight can significantly increase your risk of developing cancer
    • Keep active – regular exercise is key to keeping your weight down. Try to aim for at least 30 minutes a day
    • Eat a balanced diet – this will help keep your weight down and make sure you get the nutrients you need
    • Limit your alcohol intake – there is strong evidence that too much alcohol increases your risk of several cancers
    • Quit smoking – this is one of the most effective ways to cut the risk of developing cancer. You can get help and support from the NHS at Smokefree
    • Stay safe in the sun – most cases of skin cancer are caused by damage from ultra violet rays, these are emitted by the lights in sun beds as well as the sun
    • Learn what is normal for you – being aware of changes in your body will not prevent cancer, but it can be a useful way of detecting the early stages of the disease. If you notice a change in bodily functions or come across a lump whilst examining your breasts or testicles, you should visit your GP as soon as possible

    This page from the NHS has more information on preventing cancer.

  • How is cancer diagnosed?

    A variety of methods are used to detect and diagnose cancer, often in combination with one another.

    These range from X-ray and Ultrasound to blood tests and CT or MRI scans.

    They help healthcare professionals build up a picture of your body that allows them to understand your general health, what type of cancer you might have and how your are responding to treatment

    You can find out more here

  • How is cancer treated?

    Cancer is usually treated using chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.

    Each individual cancer is treated in a different way. You can find out more about this here

  • Cancer information and support

    Cancer can take a physical and emotional toll not just on the patient but also on those close to them. It is important to understand – and use – the resources that are available during treatment and beyond.


    The Royal Marsden has published a series of booklets that provide information about cancer for patients and their relatives


    This directory can guide you to services in and around The Royal Marsden’s hospitals as well as to patient information on their website and on the websites of charities such as Macmillan.