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Cancer

Synonym(s)

  • malignant neoplasms
  • malignant tumoral disease
  • unclassified tumour, malignant

Definition(s)

Cancerous; a growth with a tendency to invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

Definition from: Physician Data Query via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. There are several main types of cancer. Carcinoma is cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Sarcoma is cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Leukemia is cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream. Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system.

Definition from:  National Cancer Institute dictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Cancer begins when a single cell mutates, resulting in a breakdown of the normal regulatory controls that keep cell division in check. These mutations can be inherited, caused by errors in DNA replication, or result from exposure to harmful chemicals. A cancerous tumor can spread to other parts of the body and, if left untreated, be fatal.

Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic TermsThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. from the National Human Genome Research Institute

Related discussion in the Handbook

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: December 16, 2014