It's also important to be aware of symptoms and act quickly when they're present as early detection greatly increases the chances of successful treatment.
Cancer does not just affect older people. Some types of cancer, such as leukaemia, are not uncommon in children, with around 250 cases per year occurring in children aged 0-14.
Many cancer types such as breast, brain, testicular and pancreatic cancer occur more frequently in certain families due to an inherited higher risk, while others such as lymphoma and cervical cancer affect people randomly across the community.
Some cancers, even within a group, develop slowly, others more rapidly, just as some cancers tend to be highly localised and some spread easily, causing secondary tumours.
Brain cancer: headaches are a common symptom and doctors often check on the functioning of different areas of the brain if a tumour is suspected.
Stomach cancer: risk factors include smoking and a having a diet high in smoked, pickled and salted foods and low in fresh fruit and vegetables.Kidney cancer: cancers in the kidney are more commonly a result of cancers from other areas of the body and more rarely originate in the kidney.
Skin cancer: Treatment almost always involves removal of the cancer; some surrounding tissue may also be taken. Ointments and radiation therapy may then be prescribed.
Bowel cancer: Bowel cancer commonly develops from polyps in the bowel. Although polyps aren't always dangerous, they are routinely removed so that they can't become cancerous.