Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 8880-8326

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:: In Brief


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:: Cancer
Disease Management - Cancer
  Disease Management

Cancer is the most common cause of death in Australia, representing over a quarter of all deaths in 1995. Approximately 60,000 new cancers are diagnosed in Australia each year.
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. Normally, the body's cells reproduce themselves in an orderly manner so that growth occurs and damaged or worn-out tissues are replaced. Sometimes, however, cells continue growing into a mass of tissue called a tumor which can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Benign tumors may interfere with body function and therefore may, require surgical removal, but they do not invade neighbouring tissue and they are seldom life-threatening. Malignant tumors are always dangerous. Malignant cells can build up into a lump or tumor. In some cases, the malignant cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood or lymph system. New cancers formed in this way are called secondaries or metastases.

Signs & Symptoms:

The signs of cancer are different depending on the type of cancer. Please click on the cancer type you are interested in for information about the possible signs of breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer, melanoma and leukemia.  Some symptoms may be:

  • Persistent cough or blood tinged saliva
  • Change in bowels habits
  • Blood in your stool
  • Unexplained anaemia
  • Breast lump or discharge
  • Lump in the testicles
  • Change in urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Hoarseness
  • Persistent lumps or swollen glands
  • Obvious change in a wart or a mole
  • Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Unexpected weight loss, night sweats or fever
  • Continued itching in your anus or genitals
  • Non healing sores
  • Headaches
  • Back Pain

How can I prevent cancer?

Some cancers can be prevented by changing behaviours, including:

  • limiting exposure to the sun
  • not smoking
  • limiting alcohol intake
  • increasing intake of vegetables and fruit


There are a number of different types of treatment for cancer. The main groups are:
  • Surgery - This is the removal of the cancer
  • Chemotherapy - This is a course of drugs given to kill or control the cancer cells
  • Radiotherapy - This is a course of high dose X-rays to kill or control the cancer
  • Immunotherapy - strategies designed to induce the patients own immune system to fight the cancer
  • Hormonal Therapy - inhibiting growth of some cancers by blocking certain hormones
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors - prevent the extensive growth of blood vessels that tumors require to survive

The type of treatment recommended depends on the type of cancer and individual circumstances.

Detecting cancer earlier can lead to more successful treatment and cure or to longer survival.

Some cancers can be detected early by having regular tests, for example:

  • pap tests can detect early changes in the cervix that can be treated before cervical cancer develops
  • mammograms, or X-rays to the breast, can detect breast cancers at an early stage when they are still not able to felt by a physical examination
  • skin cancer screening
  • prostate examination
  • bowel cancer screening

More Information:

Cancer Institute of NSW -

NSW Cancer Council's Cancer Information Service

Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • skin protection
  • reducing smoking

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