font size


Cancer

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Cancer facts

  • Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in a body.
  • There are over 200 types of cancer.
  • Anything that may cause a normal body cell to develop abnormally potentially can cause cancer; general categories of cancer-related or causative agents are as follows: chemical or toxic compound exposures, ionizing radiation, some pathogens, and human genetics.
  • Cancer symptoms and signs depend on the specific type and grade of cancer; general signs and symptoms are not very specific but are as follows: fever, fatigue, weight loss, pain, skin changes, change in bowel or bladder function, unusual bleeding, persistent cough or voice change, lumps, or tissue masses
  • Although there are many tests to presumptively find or presumptively diagnose cancer, the definite diagnosis is made by examination of a biopsy sample of suspected cancer tissue.
  • Cancer staging is often determined by biopsy results and helps determine the aggressiveness of the cancer type and the extent of cancer spread; staging also helps caregivers determine treatment protocols. In general, most staging methods show that the higher the number assigned (usually between 0-4), the more aggressive the cancer type or more widespread is the cancer in the body.
  • Treatment protocols vary according to the type and stage of the cancer. Most treatment protocols are designed to fit the individual patient's disease. However, most treatments include at least one of the following and may include all: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
  • The prognosis of cancer can range from excellent to poor. The prognosis depends on the cancer type and its staging with those cancers known to be aggressive and those staged with higher numbers (3-4) often have a prognosis that ranges more toward poor.
  • Some cancers can be prevented by taking simple precautions, other cancers may have the risk of contracting them reduced by several methods, and a few may be difficult to avoid for some individuals.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/21/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Cancer - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with cancer.
Cancer - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your cancer?
Cancer - Diagnosis Question: What form of cancer do you have? How was it diagnosed? Please share your story.
Cancer - Prevention Question: With a goal of preventing cancer, describe the exams and tests you've had, like mammograms.
Cancer - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your cancer?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/cancer/article.htm

Cancer

Get the latest treatment options.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations