Find out about the diseases and illnesses we specialise in


Càncer a Vall d'Hebron

Cancer is the abnormally fast multiplication of cells which spread and invade nearby tissue or other parts of the body. It can also spread to other organs. This is known as “metastasis”.

There are over 200 types of cancer. They are normally categorised according to the tissue or organ where they originate. Different molecular subtypes are often included which determine the course of treatment and therapeutic options.


What is cancer?

Cancer is a complex disease that varies depending on the type of cancer, location, tumours, malignancy, causes and approaches.



Symptoms of cancer can be varied and very much depend on the type of tumour. However, many cancers may give warning signs such as: 

  • Appearance of a lump or nodule
  • A wound or ulcer that does not heal
  • A mole or freckle that changes size, shape or colour
  • Persistent pain
  • Abnormal bleeding or haemorrhaging
  • Persistent cough and hoarseness
  • Changes to urinary or intestinal habits
  • Weight loss for no reason


Who is affected by cancer?

39,900 cases were diagnosed in Catalonia in 2015, excluding skin cancer or melanoma. This breaks down as affecting 23,600 men and 13,300 women. The incidence rate is 345 cases for every 100,000 men and 217 for every 100,000 women. In men, the most common cancer is prostate cancer, followed by colorectal and lung cancer. In women, the most common cancers are breast, colorectal and lung cancer. The mortality rate for cancer is around 109 cases for every 100,000 men and 55 for every 100,000 women.



Different tests are used to detect cancer, such as:

  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • Pleural fluid analysis
  • Stool test
  • Nasopharyngeal swab test (existing mucous)
  • Tumour markers 

Imaging tests can also be requested such as:

  • X-ray
  • Mammography
  • Contrast x-ray
  • Computed tomography (CT or scan)
  • Magnetic or nuclear resonance imaging
  • Scintigraphy
  • Ultrasound
  • Endoscopy

Finally, tissue analyses are requested:

  • Cytology
  • Biopsy


Typical treatment

Cancer is treated using a multidisciplinary approach and different medical specialisations are combined to treat it appropriately. This treatment follows a protocol: surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There are also specific therapies for some tumours such as hormone therapy, targeted therapies or immunotherapy.  



A series of factors influence and have an impact on cancer:

  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Dietary habits (it is necessary to have a balanced diet and avoid processed foods)
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Alcohol
  • Infections (infectious agents may cause some tumours)
  • Environmental pollution
  • Work-related carcinogens
  • Radiation

There are also screening programmes for some kinds of cancer.

Hospital o serveis complementaris relacionats

General Hospital

Where to find it

Children's Hospital and Woman's Hospital

Where to find it
Healthcare specialisations
Research gropus
Educació sanitària relacionades
Related healthcare treatment
Related diagnostic tests
See more
Related professionals
Dr. Josep
Tabernero Caturla
Head of Department
Medical Oncology
Dr. Joan
Carles Galcerán
Head of Section
Medical Oncology
Lead Researcher
Genitourinary, Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumours, Sarcoma and cancer of unknown primary site programme
Dr. Lucas
Clinical Director
Paediatric Oncology and Haematology
Translational Research into Cancer in Childhood and Adolescence
Dra. Cristina
Díaz de Heredia Rubio
Head of Section
Paediatric Oncology and Haematology
Oncology, Translational Research into Cancer in Childhood and Adolescence
Dra. Enriqueta
Head of Section
Medical Oncology
Lead Researcher
Thoracic tumours and head and neck cancer group
Dra. Cristina
Saura Manich
Head of Unit
Medical Oncology
Clinical Researcher
Breast cancer and melanoma group
Dr. Vicente
Peg Cámara
Breast Pathology
Translational Molecular Pathology
Dra. Gabriela
Guillén Burrieza
Paediatric Oncological Surgery
Clinical Nanomedicine and Advanced Therapies Research Centre. Bioengineering, Cell Therapy and Surgery in Congenital Anomalies
Dra. Maria Jesus
Mañas Garcia
Radiation Oncology
Dr. Antonio J
Esgueva Colmenarejo
Breast Pathology
Dra. Teresa
Macarulla Mercadé
Medical Oncology
Dr. Octavi
Córdoba Cardona
Breast Pathology
Biomedical Research in Gynaecology
Dra. Soledad
Gallego Melcón
Paediatric Oncology and Haematology
Person in charge/Manager/Director
Translational Research into Cancer in Childhood and Adolescence
Dra. Izaro
Hernan Marcaida
Breast Pathology