Cancer conditions we treat
We’re here to get the best possible life outcomes for every cancer patient. We do that by delivering the highest quality, evidence-based care available.
What is cancer & cancerous tumours
There are over 100 different types of cancer. When abnormal cells multiply in an uncontrolled way, that’s cancer. Sometimes they spread into other tissues, affecting other parts of the body.
- Some growths are non-cancerous (benign). This means that it does not spread to other parts of the body, grows slowly, has distinct border, and does not invade nearby tissue. They are often treated with surgery or sometimes with, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy to reduce the risk of them returning and ease any discomfort or medical issue they may be causing.
- Harmful cancer growths are called malignant tumours. They can grow quickly, have irregular borders, often invade surrounding tissues, and can spread to other parts of the body (called metastasis). Treatment may consist of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination.
Types of blood cancer
Blood cancers occur when your body produces larger, or smaller, numbers of blood cells that don’t function properly. These abnormal blood cells prevent your body from performing its normal functions, including fighting off infections, carrying oxygen around and preventing serious bleeding.
The different types of blood cells are:
- Red blood cells – that carry oxygen around your body
- White blood cells – that help fight off infection
- Platelets – that help stop bleeding
Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system. It happens when a type of white blood cells (lymphocytes) develop abnormally.
Normally, lymphocytes help fight infection. Lymphoma affects the immune system. It can cause swellings in your neck, armpit, groin or deeper inside your body.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) starts in the white blood cells (lymphocytes). White blood cells are part of the immune system.
Bone cancers occur when normal bone cells develop changes and start to grow uncontrollably, creating a tumour. They’re also sometimes called bone sarcomas – bones are made up of connective tissue and sarcomas are the cancers that start in any connective tissue in the body.
Brain cancers are divided into two groups:¹,²
- primary brain tumours, which start in the brain and almost never spread to other parts of the body
- secondary tumours (or metastases), which are caused by cancers that began in another part of the body and have spread to the brain.
There are more than 40 major types of brain tumours, which are grouped into two main types:¹,²
- benign – slow-growing and unlikely to spread. Common types are meningiomas, neuromas, pituitary tumours and craniopharyngiomas.
- malignant – cancerous and able to spread into other parts of the brain or spinal cord. Common types include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, glioblastomas and mixed gliomas.
It is estimated that 1,896 new cases of brain cancer will be diagnosed in Australia in 2021.¹
What are spinal cord tumours?
The spinal cord has bundles of very long nerve fibres. They carry signals that control muscles, sensation or feeling, and bladder and bowel control.
Breast cancer occurs when normal breast cells acquire mutations leading to uncontrolled growth, creating a tumour. It frequently starts in the cells that line the milk ducts (ductal cancer), but can also arise in breast lobules (lobular cancer).
DCIS Test to predict radiation therapy benefit
There is now a risk assessment test available in Australia that looks at the likelihood of your ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) recurring after surgery, the risk of the disease spreading, and the impact of radiation therapy in reducing that risk.
Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is the name for cancers affecting the digestive system (or GI tract). There are a range of types of gastrointestinal cancers which we treat at GenesisCare.
Bile duct cancer
Bile ducts are part of the digestive system and are the tubes that link the liver and gallbladder to the small bowel. They transport bile, which helps break down the fat in our food.
Bile duct cancer (also called cholangiocarcinoma) develops in part of the bile duct lining. Abnormal cells start to multiply. They can spread into other areas including the gallbladder or pancreas.
Colorectal cancer, can affect any part of the colon or rectum; it may also be referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer is located. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women in Australia and is more common in people over the age of 50.
It was estimated that 15,540 cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in Australia in 2021.
The chance of surviving colorectal cancer for at least five years, is 70%.
Gallbladder cancer is cancer of the biliary tract, part of the digestive system. It is one of the rarer types of cancer.
- The gallbladder stores bile made in the liver before it’s passed into the small bowel. The bile helps food digestion. It passes through a tube called the common bile duct which connects the gallbladder and liver to the small intestine.
- Gallbladder cancer happens when tissues in the lining of the gallbladder become abnormal and multiply. The most common type is adenocarcinoma – starting in glandular cells in the gallbladder lining.
- Unfortunately, by the time most people are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer, the tumour is often too large to remove surgically or has spread to other areas of the body. This makes it very difficult to treat.
Large bowel cancer
The bowel is made up of two main parts – the small bowel and the large bowel. Both are part of the digestive system. The colon, rectum and anus make up the large bowel.
The liver is the largest internal organ of the human body, weighing around 1.5kg in the average adult. It is positioned on the upper right side of the abdomen, just below the rib cage.
The oesophagus is the food pipe that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. It has three main sections – upper, middle and lower. Oesophageal cancer can develop anywhere along the length of the oesophagus. Along with squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, oesophageal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in advanced countries.
The pancreas is a thin, lumpy gland that lies between the stomach and spine. It’s about 13 cm long and is joined by the pancreatic duct to the first part of the small bowel.
Most stomach cancers develop in the cells in the inner lining of the stomach. Stomach cancers can also be called ‘adenocarcinoma of the stomach’ or ‘gastric cancer’. This type of cancer develops quite slowly, and it can take years before any symptoms are noticed.
Small bowel cancer
Small bowel cancer (also called small intestine cancer) is an uncommon type of cancer that occurs when cells in the small intestines become abnormal and keep growing and form a mass or lump called a tumour.
Types of genitourinary cancers
There are many different type of genitourinary cancers which effect both men and women.
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Penile cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Urethral cancer
- Ureter cancer
Gynaecological cancers affect a woman’s reproductive system. They can happen to women of all ages but are most common if you’re over 50. In most cases, the type of gynaecological cancer is named after the part of the body where the cancer first develops.
Types of gynaecological cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Cancer of the vulva
- Other gynaecological cancers
Head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck areas. For example, inside the mouth, in the nose and in the throat.
Cancers that begin in the salivary glands or thyroid are much less common. Head and neck cancers are named after the area they start in.
Types of head and neck cancer
- Mouth (oral) cancer
- Throat (pharynx) cancer
- Voice box (larynx) cancer
- Nose cancer and cancer near the nose (paranasal)
- Salivary gland cancer
The lungs are the main organs for breathing and are part of the respiratory system that includes the nose, mouth, windpipe and airways (large airways, bronchi; smaller airways, bronchioles) to each lung. Lung cancer is a cancerous tumour in the tissue of one or both of the lungs.
- Primary lung cancer starts in the lungs.
- Secondary or metastatic lung cancer can start somewhere else in the body and spread to the lungs.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. In Australia, the risk of getting prostate cancer by the age of 75 is 1 in 7 men. By the age of 85, this increases to 1 in 5.¹ Early diagnosis and treatment can mean a positive outcome for many.
Skin cancer happens when skin cells change into abnormal cells and grow at an uncontrolled rate.
There are two main types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer and the number of cases for both is increasing worldwide.
Type of skin cancer
- Melanoma – Melanoma is a type of skin cancer in the cells that produce pigment – called melanocytes. Melanoma is linked to sun exposure. But it can also affect areas of the body that aren’t often exposed to sun. In very rare cases, it affects the skin lining the nose, mouth and genitals.
- Non-melanoma skin cancers – Non-melanoma skin cancers develop among cells in the upper layers of the skin. The two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
A primary tumour is where a cancer starts. If it spreads to other parts of the body, that’s a secondary tumour or metastasis.
Malignant tumours can be solid or liquid. Liquid cancers like leukaemia involve blood. Cancer and its treatments can also affect the lymphatic, immune and hormone systems. Solid tumours can form in any organ.
Some of the most common cancers in women are breast cancer and bowel cancer. In men, prostate cancer is the most common, followed by bowel cancer.
There are a lot of factors that influence how cancer is treated:
- The type of cancer
- Where the tumour’s located
- How fast it’s growing
- How advanced the cancer is
- Your age and general health
- How you’d like your cancer to be treated
Meet our doctors
We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of different types of cancer.
Any procedure including treatments involving radiation carry risks, including skin irritation and associated pain. Before proceeding with a referral for treatment, patients should be advised to seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. As in any medical procedure, patient experiences and outcomes will vary.