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

Prostate cancer: What's your risk?

The major factors that determine a man's risk for prostate cancer are age, family history, and race and ethnicity. It is not proven that men at higher risk who are tested for hidden cancer are less likely to develop more advanced cancer or die from it. (Locked) More »


Leukemia is a type of cancer that harms the body's ability to make healthy blood cells. It starts in the bone marrow, the soft center of various bones. This is where new blood cells are made. There are three main types of blood cells: Leukemia usually refers to cancer of the white blood cells. It tends to affect one of the two major types of white blood cells: lymphocytes and granulocytes. These cells circulate through the bloodstream and the lymph system to help the body fight off viruses, infections, and other invading organisms. Leukemia arising from cancerous lymphocytes is called lymphocytic leukemia; leukemia from cancerous granulocytes is called myeloid or myelogenous leukemia. Leukemia is either acute (comes on suddenly) or chronic (lasts a long time). Acute leukemia affects adults and children. Chronic leukemia rarely affects children. More »


Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph system (also called the lymphatic system). The lymph system is a network of tissue, vessels, and fluid (called lymph) that runs through all parts of the body. As part of the immune system, it helps protect the body from infection and disease by collecting and destroying invading organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, abnormal cells. The lymph system includes: Lymph: a clear fluid that carries white blood cells through the lymph system. White blood cells help fight infection. More »

Abnormal Pap smear result

Abnormal cells seen on a Pap smear range from mild to severe, and do not necessarily mean that you have cervical cancer. Atypical cells, the mildest kind of abnormality, are often caused by simple infections or inflammation. Sometimes they are caused by precancerous conditions that could one day turn into cancer, and start growing into nearby tissue or spreading to other parts of the body. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is one such precancerous condition that can show up on a Pap smear. Low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is less likely to turn into cancer. The presence of these cells on a Pap smear result is called a low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. You and your doctor should keep a close eye on it, such as by scheduling a repeat Pap test. High-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is somewhat more likely to turn into cancer. The presence of these cells on a Pap smear result is called high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. Your doctor may recommend doing a more accurate examination of your cervix using colposcopy. More »

Ask the doctor: Aspirin and cancer prevention

Taking aspirin regularly may reduce risk of colon cancer but also increases risk of internal bleeding. It is not possible yet to routinely determine who would be helped more than harmed by taking aspirin for colon cancer prevention. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Heart risks of breast cancer treatment

Radiation and chemotherapy can damage heart structures and lead to heart attacks or other cardiac problems later on. Baseline imaging tests before treatment starts may help doctors monitor heart changes. A healthy lifestyle can also decrease heart risks. (Locked) More »

Do older adults need colorectal cancer screenings?

Whether older adults should get routine colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings is debated. Some guidelines suggest that people should not get screenings past age 75 or 80. Some evidence shows the screenings are effective well into the 80s in previously unscreened patients with no other chronic conditions. For people older than 75, it’s best to weigh the risks and benefits of screening. A family history of CRC or precancerous polyps increase the risk for CRC and may be cause for a screening.  (Locked) More »