What is Cancer?

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The word cancer is generally used to describe a malignant mass of cells that can develop in any organ of the human body. This mass of cells has lost the regulatory mechanism which normal cells possess. Normal cells grow to their desired size, space themselves out evenly - with a good respect for their neighbours and die when they are supposed to - in order to make room for healthy young cells to take over their function. The hallmarks of malignant growth (cancer) include cells that:- 

Growths or tumours which have the ability to invade and metastases are, therefore, called malignant tumours or cancer, whereas those which grow but don't invade and metastasise are called benign tumours. 

What cells or organs do cancers come from?  Any cell in the body can potentially become cancererous but the broad categories are:-

Treatments for specific cancers:


Further information The book Lifestyle After Cancer summarises the lifestyle evidence from around the world and provides practical advice for all stages in the cancer journey. A detailed film available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi explains Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. Cancernet.co.uk is a comprehensive cancer information resource written by an experienced team of doctors, health professionals and patients. It contains links and information on:  Specific cancers Breast | Prostate | Bowel.   Cancer treatmentsChemotherapy | Radiotherapy | Hormones | Biological agents | Complementary therapies .  Lifestyle and cancerExercise | Diet | Smoking | Sunbathing | Alcohol. Tips to help with symptoms and side effects. Financial issues: Traveling | Travel insurance| Links to support groups | Books | Tests for cancer | Clinical trials | What is cancer | How to avoid cancer | Glossary | About us | Disclaimer.