By: Kate Cottrell
For the Canadian Cancer Society, the daffodil is a symbol of strength and courage.1 This year marks to 75th anniversary of the Canadian Cancer Society’s ongoing support of individuals living with cancer and of cancer research. The Canadian Cancer Society grew out of a committee established in 1929 when Canada’s first cancer committee was formed by the Saskatchewan Medical Association – driven by doctors’ concern that people were often not aware of signs of cancer until it was advanced. 2
A tumour can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The spread of malignant cancer cells to other parts of the body is referred to as metastasis.3 Cancer often spreads through the lymph system, a network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes that runs throughout the body and forms part of the body’s immune system.4 The first sign that a cancer has metastasized may be swelling of nearby lymph nodes, although cancer can spread to almost any part of the body. That is why the earlier malignant tumours are discovered, the better.3
Although new cancer diagnoses are on the increase – with an estimated 2 in 5 Canadians expected to develop cancer in their lifetimes – survival rates are also increasing.5 Take preventive action. Know your body, take recommended cancer screening tests, and pay attention to any unusual changes in your body so you can discuss them with your doctor. 6
Some early warning signs that may be due to cancer include new or unusual lumps or swelling, sores that don’t heal, changes in the appearance of a mole or wart, changes in your voice or ability to swallow, blood in the urine, stool or phlegm, pain or difficulty urinating, constipation or diarrhea that last more than a few weeks, ongoing indigestion, and unexplained weight loss, fatigue or pain.6
For more information, visit The Canadian Cancer Society.