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Cancer What is cancer? Cancer is the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that if left untreated can ultimately cause death. The word cancer came from the Greek word for crab, karkinos. The early Greek physicians who first described cancerous tumors had no notion of their cause or true nature, but they were struck by the resemblance if some invasive tumors to crabs: a hard mass with a claw like extensions and an aggressive nature. Cancer causes about 550,000 deaths a year. Although many people believe that cancer is one disease, there are actually in fact over a 100 different forms of cancer. Some cancers can be cured, but not all of them have cures. Even though each type has its own characteristics, all cancers share one common characteristic, and that is the abnormal cell growth. These abnormal cells form tumors that invade normal tissues and disrupt body functions. Tumors are cancerous when they spread to other parts of the body. These types are called malignant, while tumors that do not have the potential to spread are called benign. Benign tumors are made up of cells similar to the surrounding normal cells and are enclosed in a membrane that prevents them from penetrating the neighboring tissues. They are dangerous only if their physical presence interferes with body functions. For example, if a benign tumor grows in the brain and blocks the flow of blood to the brain, that can kill a person. To find out what kind of tumor that the person might have, the doctor will either do an X ray or a biopsy. If the tumor shows to be benign they might leave it or they might choose to remove it. But, if it shows to be a malignant tumor, more drastic steps are taken to get rid of the tumors. In this paper I will talk abo... ... middle of paper ... ... National Cancer Institutes/Lung Cancer Biology Page The New York Times/Women's Health: Lung Cancer Oncolink/Lung Cancer Skin Cancer AOL Health: Skin Cancer AOL keyword: Cancer Skin cancer and the Sun Forum- Skin cancer Skin Cancer NCI Publication- What You Need To Know About Melanoma Prevention of Skin Cancer

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