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Seeing a lot of yellow daffodils popping up everywhere? You should be.

April is Daffodil Month and the Canadian Cancer Society is asking people to wear a daffodil pin as a bright symbol of support for people living with cancer and to join the ght against cancer by making a donation. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Cancer Society, which was officially born on March 28, 1938.

Normal cell process

Cells are the building blocks of your body.

Cancer 101
Cell grows Cells divide into two, reproducing themselves exactly Older cells die off as new cells grow Cancer can start in any cell in the body Cancer usually requires at least six mutations to occur before healthy cell changes into a malignant one. It can take many years for these mutations to build up and transform a normal cell into a malignant (cancerous) cell.


The rst sign that a malignant tumour has spread (metastasized) is often swelling of nearby lymph nodes, but cancer can metastasize to almost any part of the body. It is important to nd malignant tumours as early as possible.

Did you know...

How cancer spreads

Usually, if a cell has a change in its DNA (mutation), it is able to x the mutation before it is passed on to new cells

Cancer can invade tissues or organs immediately surrounding it. Cancer cells can enter the blood stream and circulate around the body (most will be attacked by the immune system and die) Can travel through lymph vessels to the lymph nodes, where it can grow or be further spread. The bones, brain, lungs and liver are common secondary sites for cancer to spread to.

Cancer cell process

Cancer begins when a normal cell mutates, or changes, and is not able to repair itself.

Today, over 60% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer will survive compared to about 25% in the early 1940s when funding research started. Despite the drop in deaths, cancer is still the leading cause of death in Canada.

Normal cells

Types of tumours
BENIGN Are not cancer Can increase in size but usually stay in one place Rarely cause serious problems Not usually life-threatening Usually do not come back after being removed PRE-CANCEROUS Are not cancer Changes cause the cell to become abnormal Can be severe May turn into cancer Can come back after being removed MALIGNANT Are cancer Can increase in size or spread to other organs and tissues Can interfere with body functions Can be life-threatening Can come back after being removed

The damaged cells keep multiplying and create a tumour.


Money well spent

In 2012, The Canadian Cancer Society spent: $46 million to support 274 researchers and 574 students and fellows to carry out 336 research projects $71 million in programs and services to meet the needs of people living with cancer and their caregivers.

Parts of malignant tumours can break off and spread to other parts of the body. This is known as metastasis.

Mutations may cause the cell to continue to grow and divide out of control instead of dying when it should.

Estimated number of new cancer cases diagnosed in 2012

186,400 75,700

Estimated number of Canadians who died from cancer in 2012

Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes

2 in 5