Cancer

Cancer is the catchall term applied to diseases caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Cancer isn't one disease. It is many different diseases, more than 100 and counting.

Each kind of cancer is usually named for the cell type in which it begins — cancer that starts in a lung is called lung cancer; cancer that starts in pigment cells in the skin, which are known as melanocytes, is called melanoma.

When detected and treated early, cancer can often be stopped. That said, cancer is a leading cause of death and disability around the world.

Cancer Articles

Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas (PAN-cree-us) is an organ that sits in the left side of your belly. The pancreas has two main functions. It makes digestive enzymes (proteins that break down food) and hormones that regulate blood sugar, such as insulin. Pancreatic (PAN-cree-at-ick) cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow uncontrolled in the pancreas. Most pancreatic cancers occur in the part of the pancreas that produces digestive fluids. A small number of pancreatic cancers occur in a part of the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar. This type of cancer is called either an insulinoma or a neuroendocrine tumor. It is very important that your doctor find out which kind of pancreatic cancer you have because the two types have different treatments. This article will focus on the first type, which is called adenocarcinoma (add-en-oh-car-cin-oh-mah). (Locked) More »

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both testicles (testes). The testicles are the male sex glands. They are located in the scrotum, behind the penis. They produce testosterone and other male hormones. The testicles also produce and store sperm, the male cells needed for reproduction. nce testicular cancer develops, it can remain within the testicle, or it can spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen or pelvis. If it is not detected and treated, testicular cancer eventually can spread to the lungs, brain, liver, and other parts of the body. Certain types of testicular cancer are more likely to spread than others. Sometimes the cancer will have already spread at the initial time of diagnosis. Most testicular cancer patients are between the ages of 20 and 40. Though testicular cancer accounts for a very small percentage of all cancer cases in men, it is the most common cancer in younger men. (Locked) More »

Bone Marrow Biopsy

Doctors can diagnose many problems that cause anemia, some infections, and some kinds of leukemia or lymphoma cancers by examining a sample of your bone marrow. Bone marrow is the tissue where blood cells are made. A bone marrow biopsy is the procedure to collect such a sample. It is done using a needle inserted through the outside surface of a bone and into the middle of the bone, where the marrow is. You will need to sign a consent form giving your doctor permission to perform this test. Because you will probably receive some pain medicines or anti-anxiety medications that can make you drowsy, you will need to arrange a ride home. Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to lidocaine or the numbing medicine used at the dentist's office. Also talk with your doctor before the test if you are taking insulin, or if you take aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. It may be necessary to stop or adjust the dose of these medicines before your test. (Locked) More »

Bone Marrow Transplant

A bone marrow transplant is a procedure used to treat certain types of cancer and some other diseases. Before the bone marrow transplant takes place, a person's bone marrow cells are destroyed with radiation or chemotherapy. The cells that normally live in the bone marrow and that are responsible for making blood cells are then replaced. Bone marrow cells are blood cells that are located in the spongy center of bones. These include: Cells to replace your original cells can be taken from your blood or bone marrow before the procedure starts. Bone marrow cells also can be taken from a different person (a donor) whose cells are a good match for the person receiving the transplant (the recipient). A good match means certain chemical markers on the cells of both donor and recipient are as close as possible and thus minimizes the possibility that the cells will be rejected by your body. (Locked) More »

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing and dividing. Chemotherapy drugs are also called anti-cancer drugs. Chemotherapy drugs can shrink or limit the size of cancerous tumors. They may also prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. There are more than 80 anti-cancer drugs. Cancer treatment often requires a combination of two or more different drugs. Cancer specialists design chemotherapy plans based on the cancer being treated and how far the cancer has spread. (Locked) More »

Skin Biopsy

Doctors take biopsies of areas that look abnormal and use them to detect cancer, precancerous cells, infections, and other conditions. For some biopsies, the doctor inserts a needle into the skin and draws out a sample; in other cases, tissue is removed during a surgical procedure. For this test, abnormal areas of skin are removed to test for cancer or other skin diseases. Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to the medicine lidocaine or similar types of local anesthesia. (Locked) More »

Stereotactic Biopsy of the Breast

Stereotactic biopsy of the breast is a special type of large core needle biopsy. It is one method of guiding the biopsy needle to the desired location in the breast. Core needle biopsy can also be guided by ultrasound or by the standard x-ray techniques used in mammography. Large core needle biopsy is often the diagnostic method of choice to evaluate abnormalities that are visible on a mammogram but cannot easily be felt by hand. Core needle biopsy may not be suitable for women who have: In these situations, accurate results from a core needle biopsy may not be possible. Instead, your doctor may recommend a surgical biopsy. (Locked) More »