Cancer Definition

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Cancer is the term used for diseases in which damaged cells divide without control and can penetrate into the tissue of other organs. Cancer cells can spread to other tissues via blood and lymph.

Cancer - it is not just one disease, this set of diseases. There are more than a hundred different types of cancer. Almost all cancers are named after the type of cell or organ in which they are formed. For example, a malignant tumor that is formed in the stomach is called gastric cancer; tumor that is formed in the skin's melanocytes is called melanoma.

Cancer types may be grouped in the broader group.

The main groups of cancer:

  • Carcinoma - a type of cancer formed in the skin or in tissues that cover or line the internal organs. There are a few carcinoma subgroups: adenocarcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, transitional cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Sarcoma - cancer that begins in the cartilage, bone, fat cells, blood vessels, muscles or other supporting or connective tissues.
  • Leukemia is cancer that is formed in hematopoietic tissues (bone marrow) and causes a large number of abnormal cells, which enter the bloodstream.
  • Myeloma and lymphoma - a tumor that are beginning to develop in the cells of the immune system.
  • Cancer of the central nervous system - the tumor that begins in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

The origin of cancer

Cancers originate in the cells - the basic unit of the human body. To understand what is cancer, it is helpful to know what happens when normal healthy cells become cancerous.

The human body is composed of a plurality of cell types. These cells grow and divide to produce more cells as they are needed to maintain the health of the human body. When cells grow old or get damaged, they tend to die and be replaced by new ones.

But this orderly process can be broken. Genetic material (DNA) can be damaged or altered, mutations occur that affect the full normal cell growth and division. In this case the cells do not die as they should. A new cells are formed, although the body does not need them. Additional elements may form a mass of tissue, called tumors.

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