Cancer that is diagnosed at an early stage (stage 1 or 2), before it has had the chance to get too big or has spread to other areas of the body is more likely to be treated successfully. If the cancer is late stage (stage 3 or 4) and has spread into surrounding tissue or to other organs then it is more difficult to treat and the chances of survival are much lower. The diagram and a study by Cancer Research UK shows that the 10-year survival for all cancer-types in the UK is better if the disease is diagnosed at an earlier stage.
Any cancer can be detected late, but some cancer such as lung, pancreatic, oesophageal and brain are more frequently detected at a late stage.
What are we trying to do?
The vision of the CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection programme is to increase survival from cancer and improve quality of life through early detection and intervention. In order to achieve this, the research within the programme focuses on:
- Understanding the earliest steps of cancer development
- Developing new methods of detecting cancer even prior to any symptoms
- Understanding the implications of early detection for society as a whole
- Running clinical studies to evaluate new cancer diagnostics and interventions.
What does it all mean?
When talking about cancer doctors use many terms that may be unfamiliar. We have created an infographic glossary of some of the key language that you may hear from medical professionals.
More about cancer
Our cancer infographics feature information about a number of key cancer types showing current statistics and how each cancer is generally detected at present.
How can we help ourselves?
Statistics from Cancer Research UK show that 4 in 10 cancers could be prevented if we make certain lifestyle choices such as not smoking, keeping a healthy weight and drinking less alcohol. The infographic illustrates the maximum number of cancer cases that could be prevented each year in the UK by making simple changes.
Key signs and symptoms
Cancer can affect anybody. It is important to be aware of what is normal for your own body and if there are any changes to this that may indicate a potential problem. Cancer Research UK publishes details of key signs and symptoms to be aware of and what to do if you notice anything unusual.
The Early Detection Programme regularly holds events such as in the Cambridge Science Festival and Festival of Ideas. Keep an eye on our events page to find out more or contact us with any comments or questions.