What is Cancer ? A Basic Definition.

Cancer, What is it?

Cancer in general is a name for a large group of over 100 diseases. In these many (over 100) diseases, cells in the body begin to grow abnormally.  The cancer cells grow out of control.  When left untreated, cancers can cause serious health problems up to the point of death. Another term for cancer is a malignant growth.

According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, “Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.”

At the Sanoviv Medical Institute, they say that  ”Researchers have proven that there are certain genes that can promote the growth of cancer known as oncogenes, and certain genes that can inhibit the growth of cancer known as tumor suppressor genes, and that their activity can be turned “on” or “off” by various physiologic factors, which is of vital importance, because the behavior of these genes (oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes) is deeply connected to interrelationship between the external environment with the body’s inner environment. While it has been proven that inheritance is not the primary cause of cancer, a small percentage of cases may involve some inherited factors.”

Most cancers are named from the organ or type of cell in which they start.  Colon cancer starts in the colon, cancer that begins in Basel cells of the skin is called Basel Cell Carcinoma.  Carcinoma is a cancer that starts in the outer linings of the skin.

Cancer types can be grouped into broader categories. The main categories of cancer include:

  • Carcinoma - cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
  • Sarcoma - cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
  • Leukemia - cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.
  • Lymphoma and myeloma - cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.
  • Central nervous system cancers - cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
A more exhaustive list of cancer types can be reviewed at:

What is Cancer? Video Link

The American Cancer society has video titled Cancer 101. You can view it by clicking the previous link.  This video works best in the Internet Explorer browser.
The purpose of this site is to provide links to places where you can get information regarding prevention, treatment and remaining free of cancer.

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