Cancer is a disease characterised by an uncontrolled growth of cells in a tissue or organ of the human body. For example, cancer can develop in the prostate, breast or lung.
Once an organ is affected by cancer, the cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body. This spread of cancer to a new part of the body is called metastasis.
Each type of cancer has different symptoms. Several tests and examinations may be necessary to assess a person’s condition. Each person affected by a cancer receives treatment that is adapted to their situation.
Information About Some Cancers and Cancer Screening
Detecting cancer early, before the onset of signs or symptoms of the disease, increases the chances of successful treatment. Early detection is known as screening. Screening is possible with certain cancers such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer.
Read the following pages to learn more about symptoms, treatments and people at risk of certain types of cancer as well as programs, screening tests and additional examinations:
Bone or soft tissue cancer (musculoskeletal sarcomas)
- Breast Cancer Screening
- Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program
- Advantages, Disadvantages and Limitations of Mammography
- Cervical cancer
- Cervical Cancer Screening
- Advantages and disadvantages of Cervical Cytology Screening (Pap Test)
Colorectal cancer (colon and rectum)
- Colorectal Cancer (colon and rectum)
- Colorectal Cancer Screening (colon and rectum)
- Immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood Test (iFOBT)
- Instructions for the Immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood Test (iFOBT)
- Lung cancer
- Lung Cancer Screening Demonstration Project
- Benefits, disadvantages and limitations of Lung Cancer Screening Demonstration Project
Textured breast implants
The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) would like to reassure women and point out that preventive measures are underway. To find out more, go to the Textured Breast Implants page.
CAR T-cell therapy
CAR T-cell immunotherapy is a new type of treatment in which cells are drawn from a patient and genetically modified to treat certain kinds of blood cancers. There are several types of CAR T-cell therapy and Health Canada approved the first therapy in September 2018. To find out more, go to the page CAR T-cell immunotherapy for blood cancers.
Oral and Dental Services in Pediatric Oncology Program
This program provides oral and dental services to people who were diagnosed with cancer before the age of 18. To find out more, go to the Oral and Dental Services in Pediatric Oncology Program page.
Help and resources
Many services for people with cancer and their loved ones are available through community organizations. In addition, many institutions in the health and social services network have developed tools specifically for these people. To learn more, visit the page Help, resources and tools for people with cancer and their loved ones.
Protection and Prevention
Prevention is the best weapon against cancer. It is possible to avoid over half of cancer cases by having healthy lifestyle habits, for example:
- Avoid smoking
- Eat healthily
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Have an active lifestyle
- Maintain a healthy weight
You should also exercise caution when exposed to certain cancer risk factors that are present in the environment, for example:
Last update: July 8, 2021