Cancer is a word none of us like to hear, but unfortunately it's also one we are all almost guaranteed to be affected by at some time in our lives, whether through a loved one's diagnosis or our own. The prevalence of cancer is sadly on the rise: recent figures estimate that half of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime.

Of course, the overwhelming cause for this rise is the corresponding rise in our average life expectancy. We live longer, so are more likely to develop cancer at some point. There are other factors which have been linked to increased chances, though, and these are what's worth paying attention to. Key risk factors include having a diet high in red meats, smoking, over-exposure to UV rays, and being overweight.

But the good news goes beyond the fact that we have some semblance over if (or at least when) we are likely to develop cancer in some form. We also have vastly improved chances of survival, especially for those of us more than ten years after diagnosis. Recovery rates have now reached the same proportion as diagnosis rates: 50% of all those diagnosed with cancer are expected to survive. That means that survival rates have doubled in the past forty years, a colossal achievement.

There is doubtless more work to be done, though. Medical professionals are determined to continue shrinking cancer's fatal nature until every patient can survive. That's why organisations like Cancer Research are working tirelessly to find out as much as they can about the causes and cures of cancer.

You don't have to be a Professor of genetics or a neuroscientist to be able to help, though, as incredible individuals are demonstrating every single day. There are innumerable ways in which you can get involved to help destroy cancer and its devastating effects. Take a look at the wonderful stories below for some inspiration, and a reminder of how wonderful humankind can be.

One twelve year old boyhas bravely and selflessly shaved his head to commemorate his grandfather, who he sadly lost to cancer. By asking friends, family, and strangers (thanks to online fundraising) to sponsor his sacrifice, he has more than doubled his original ambitious target of £200. The funds he raises will be passed on to Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity supporting those affected by cancer. Although it in no way undermines this young boy's selfless and generous act and honouring of his grandfather, the for-profit fundraising platform did take a proportion of all donations which people chose to make for him and his grandad. Luckily, our new platform, wonderful.org, can make sure this stops happening and fundraisers can pass on every penny generously given. It would be fabulously fitting if this boy's story inspired you to take some action of your own, as he cited seeing others' fundraising efforts as the final push he needed to take the plunge.

Another inspirational individual is a children's cancer nurse from Bury who is going to run the Great Manchester Run, and is encouraging other locals from the North West to become superheroes for unwell children. Any sponsorship he receives will be passed on to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity, which is in turn running its own campaign to urge locals to join them in running the Great Manchester Run in aid of these brave children, and to help their recovery. You can watch their recruitment video and see if you can be inspired to become a superhero.

Also local to the Greater Manchester area is a young man who was diagnosed with cancer when he was nineteen years old. In a show of immense bravery and selflessness, he decided he was not going to allow his illness to hold him back in any way, and decided to raise as much money as possible for a charity which helped him a lot: The Teenage Cancer Trust. To this end, he took the innovative decision to create his own fashion line of Manchester-inspired t-shirts and accessories, which you can buy from the Made from Manchester website. The brand has received endorsements from extremely high-profile celebrities, Noel Gallagher, David Beckham, and the entire Manchester City team (who even wore the t-shirts during warm-up). Tragically, the young man passed away, but his close friends and family have continued to raise funds for the worthy cause. In total, he and his loved ones have raised more than a quarter of a million pounds, a whopping figure of immense significance for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

It's clear, then, that every person is granted with an immense power for change, a power for good. What's to stop you from taking action to raise some money to help a cause you consider worthy? Is there a charity you hold dear in your heart? Or an issue which strikes you as particularly horrific? Or maybe it's one that you feel we are so close to resolving, that we have to have one big final push? Whatever your experience with cancer, or any other humanitarian (or even animal) issue, you should look to Wonderful to aid your fundraising efforts. Use Wonderful.org to make sure that your work raises as much money for your charity as is possible, with none being taken by the middle man. At Wonderful we even cover the card processing fees, so you know every single penny gets passed on. Whatever you want to do - get baking, shaving, running, climbing, or even just shut up (sponsored silences have proven very successful, especially for some). Happy fundraising, you wonderful bunch!