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Cancer is a disease. Cells in our body which do not grow, work, reproduce and die normally are called abnormal cells. These abnormal cells accumulate to form lumps or tumors and can spread to other parts of the body. Tumors are either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). A benign tumor does not spread to other parts of the body and are usually not life-threatening. Malignant tumor cells can be life-threatening and are able to invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. This is called metastases. Cancers are named after the part of the body where they started.
Ontario has screening programs for 3 types of cancers: breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer. The goal of each screening program is to save lives. Screening for cancer is done: 1) before there are any symptoms, and 2) to find cell changes that are not yet cancer (precancerous) or cancer that is still at an early stage.
The online booklet Cancer Testing: Your Options. Your Choice will help you make informed decisions in managing your health. It will help you identify if you are at risk for getting a specific cancer; understand your testing options, consider your personal values regarding testing for cancer; understand how you can reduce your risk, and more.