about your visit to
this web site.
Why we exist
When a patient is diagnosed with cancer that has spread within the body (metastatic cancer), the primary site of the disease is not always obvious. Finding the origin of the cancer is important to define appropriate treatment.
When the origin of the cancer is not identified with confidence, through initial tests, this is described as Cancer of Unknown Primary site, or CUP.
Each year in the UK over 10,000 people are diagnosed with CUP.* CUP is the 6th most common cancer for women and the 8th most common for men. At 3.4% of cancer diagnoses, this is the same or more than those with known cancers such as Kidney, Stomach, Leukaemia, Pancreas, Ovary, and Malignant Melanoma.
The number of people diagnosed with CUP each year
in the UK would fill more than 30 jumbo jets.
For some CUP patients the primary cancer will remain unknown and will never be identified. But for many of those diagnosed initially with an undefined or uncertain metastatic cancer the origin of the cancer will be found through further tests. Even when the primary site remains truly hidden and unknown, effective treatment may be found, and all those with CUP can experience remission.
CUP is an 'orphan' of the cancer world. Most people have never heard of CUP and find it hard to believe that in this scientific age the cause of the cancer spread can remain unknown.
A cancer diagnosis is frightening for patient, family and friends. Not to know where this strange, invasive, disease has originated in the body is a double blow. CUP patients face unique psychological and social concerns.
We exist to offer information and support to CUP patients, their families and friends; whilst raising awareness of this problem to stimulate action that will improve treatment.
* It is difficult to capture precisely the burden of a disease that has no standard international definition. Cancer Research UK incidence figures for 2009 show a total of 10,470 new cases of CUP. There is wide recognition that this figure under-represents the disease.
What a brilliant site, it provides a light in the grey world of CUP.
Chris (CUP patient, UK)
This site provides much needed and accessible help for CUP patients and their loved ones - I'm very, very impressed.
Macmillan Nurse Consultant
My family, son is also a doctor, have found it an invaluable resource from day 1.
Gillian (GP & wife of CUP patient)
Join others affected by
CUP to share information
& gain support in a moderated forum
Raise money for our work through sporting challenges and tea parties.