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What is Cancer

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What is Cancer

The body is made up of trillions of living cells. Normal body cells grow, divide into new cells, and die in an orderly way. During the early years of a person's life, normal cells divide faster to allow the person to grow. After the person becomes an adult, most cells divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells or to repair injuries.

Cancer begins when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. There are many kinds of cancer, but they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells.

Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. Cancer cells can also invade (grow into) other tissues, something that normal cells cannot do. Growing out of control and invading other tissues are what makes a cell a cancer cell.

Cancers develop because of a complicated interaction between our genes, the environment and chance.

How are cancers different?

Some cancers grow and spread fast. Others grow more slowly. They also respond to treatment in different ways. Some types of cancer are best treated with surgery; others respond better to drugs called chemotherapy or to Radiotherapy. Often 2 or more treatments are used to get the best results.

♦  Cancer is a global problem
♦  Cancer can affect people of all nationalities and age groups.
♦  Cancer can occur at any age.

A cancer spreads by

By direct spread---to surrounding organs.
By lymphatic spread---to lymph nodes.
By blood ---to distant organs like liver, lung, bones, brain