This blog mostly examines cancer-related topics. Nevertheless, many of us don’t fully appreciate what cancer encompasses. Our focus here is better understanding cancer terminology.


How Many Illnesses Cancer Encompasses

According to the  National Center for Biotechnology Information, many conditions are considered cancerous. More than we probably know:

In simple terms, cancer is a group of more than 100 diseases that develop across time. And they involve the uncontrolled division of the body’s cells. Cancer can develop in virtually any of the body’s tissues. And each type of cancer has its unique features. However, the basic processes that produce cancer are quite similar in all forms of the disease.

Cancer begins when a cell breaks free from the normal restraints on cell division and begins to follow its own agenda for proliferation. All of the cells produced by division of this first, ancestral cell and its progeny, also display inappropriate proliferation. A tumor, or mass of cells, may remain within the tissue in which it originated. Or it may begin to invade nearby tissues. An invasive tumor is said to be malignant. And cells shed into the blood or lymph from a malignant tumor, They will likely establish new tumors (metastases) throughout the body.

Thirty years ago, scientists knew cancer arose when cells began proliferating uncontrollably within the body. And they knew that chemicals, radiation, and viruses could trigger this change. But exactly how it happened was a mystery. Research across the last three decades revolutionized our understanding of cancer. In large part, made possible by the development and application of the techniques of molecular biology. Techniques that enabled researchers to probe and describe features of individual cells in ways unimaginable a century ago. Now, we know cancer is a disease of molecules and genes. And we even know many of the molecules and genes involved. Indeed, our increasing understanding of these genes makes possible the development of exciting new strategies. For avoiding, forestalling, and even correcting the changes that lead to cancer.


An Infographic for Understanding Cancer Terminology

To conclude this post, we present the following infographic from Genesis Healthcare System.

An Infographic for Understanding Cancer Terminology


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