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Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.[2][8] These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread.[8] Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss and a change in bowel movements.[1] While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they can also have other causes.[1]Over 100 types of cancers affect humans.[8]

Tobacco use is the cause of about 22% of cancer deaths.[2] Another 10% are due to obesity, poor dietlack of physical activity or excessive drinking of alcohol.[2][9][10] Other factors include certain infections, exposure to ionizing radiation and environmental pollutants.[3] In the developing world, 15% of cancers are due to infections such as Helicobacter pylorihepatitis Bhepatitis Chuman papillomavirus infectionEpstein–Barr virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).[2] These factors act, at least partly, by changing the genes of a cell.[11] Typically, many genetic changes are required before cancer develops.[11] Approximately 5–10% of cancers are due to inherited genetic defects from a person’s parents.[12] Cancer can be detected by certain signs and symptoms or screening tests.[2] It is then typically further investigated by medical imaging and confirmed by biopsy.[13]

Many cancers can be prevented by not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking too much alcohol, eating plenty of vegetablesfruitsand whole grainsvaccination against certain infectious diseases, not eating too much processed and red meat and avoiding too much sunlightexposure.[14][15] Early detection through screening is useful for cervical and colorectal cancer.[16] The benefits of screening in breast cancer are controversial.[16][17] Cancer is often treated with some combination of radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.[2][4] Pain and symptom management are an important part of care.[2] Palliative care is particularly important in people with advanced disease.[2] The chance of survival depends on the type of cancer and extent of disease at the start of treatment.[11] In children under 15 at diagnosis, the five-year survival rate in the developed world is on average 80%.[18] For cancer in the United States, the average five-year survival rate is 66%.[5]

In 2015, about 90.5 million people had cancer.[6] About 14.1 million new cases occur a year (not including skin cancer other than melanoma).[11] It caused about 8.8 million deaths (15.7% of deaths).[7] The most common types of cancer in males are lung cancerprostate cancercolorectal cancer and stomach cancer.[19] In females, the most common types are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and cervical cancer.[11] If skin cancer other than melanoma were included in total new cancer cases each year, it would account for around 40% of cases.[20][21] In children, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors are most common, except in Africa where non-Hodgkin lymphomaoccurs more often.[18] In 2012, about 165,000 children under 15 years of age were diagnosed with cancer.[19] The risk of cancer increases significantly with age, and many cancers occur more commonly in developed countries.[11] Rates are increasing as more people live to an old age and as lifestyle changes occur in the developing world.[22] The financial costs of cancer were estimated at $1.16 trillion USD per year as of 2010.[23]

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