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Cancer And Its Development: Facts We Should Know

If there is someone asking you about the definition of cancer, can you do it? We all have heard the word "cancer" for so many times, however just a few people understand about this disease and how it develops.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.

Cancer is a complex group of over 100 different types of cancer. Cancer can affect just about every organ in the human body. Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start - for example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer that begins in basal cells of the skin is called basal cell carcinoma.

How Does Cancer Develop?

The organs in our body are made up of cells. Cells divide and multiply as the body needs them. When these cells continue multiplying when the body doesn't need them, the result is a mass or growth, also called a tumor.
These growths are consider either benign or malignant. Benign is considered non-cancerous and malignant is cancerous.
Benign tumors rarely are life threatening and do not spread to other parts of the body. They can often be removed.

How Does Cancer Spread to Other Parts of the Body?

The cells within malignant tumors have the ability to invade neighboring tissues and organs, thus spreading the disease. It is also possible for cancerous cells to break free from the tumor and enter the blood stream, and spreading the disease to other organs. This process of spreading is called metastasis.

When cancer has metastasized and has affected other areas of the body, the disease is still referred to the organ of origination. For instance, if cervical cancer spreads to the lungs, it is still called cervical cancer, not lung cancer.

Although most cancers develop this way, diseases like leukemia do not. They affect the blood and the organs that form blood and then invade nearby tissues.

All cancers are different, and require different treatment. What may be effective for prostate cancer, probably will not be for bladder cancer. Diagnosing cancer will vary as well, depending on the organ affected.

Fast Facts About Cancer

One in three people will develop cancer.
One in four people will die of cancer.
In 2005, about 1.4 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed.
Over 1,000,000 cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year.
Cancer is the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 85.


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relied upon as a substitute for consultation with a medical doctor or other healthcare provider.