Introduction to Clinical Oncology
Variety Within Cancer

Variety Within Cancer


What we think of as cancer is actually more than 200 different diseases.  Each of the different entities that we group together as cancer follows a different path from initiation to presentation. Each person with a cancer diagnosis has a different performance status and a unique set of prior health conditions that shape the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of their particular cancer.


Cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment are shaped by the determinants of health.


What are the determinants of health?


Health Canada [3] has identified 12 determinants of health:

  1. income and social status 

  2. employment 

  3. education 

  4. social environments 

  5. physical environments 

  6. healthy child development 

  7. personal health practices and coping skills 

  8. health services 

  9. social support networks 

  10. biology and genetic endowment

  11. gender

  12. culture


3. Health Canada. Women's Health Strategy, Women's Health Bureau, Health Canada, 1999. http://hc-sc.gc/english/women/womenstrat.htm

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