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

A new approach to cancer diagnosis

Tissue biopsies are the standard test for identifying cancer, but another approach, called a liquid biopsy, may provide a diagnosis when a traditional biopsy doesn’t. It uses a person’s blood to detect cancer and can help determine the right therapy. (Locked) More »

A more precise approach to fighting cancer

Precision medicine is an emerging approach to disease treatment and prevention that takes into account a person’s genes, environment, and lifestyle, and eliminates the one-size-fits-all approach to health care. Right now the greatest focus is on cancer. Doctors rely on genetic tests, family history, lifestyle habits, and environmental factors to determine if someone is more likely to get certain forms of cancer. Doctors then can use genetic testing to identify mutations in a tumor in order to match it with the best drug treatment. (Locked) More »

When you look for cancer, you might find heart disease

Screening tests for lung and breast cancer—chest computed tomography (CT) scans and mammograms—may offer clues about a person’s risk of heart disease. Chest CT scans, which are also done to detect blood clots in the lungs and for other lung diseases, can show calcium deposits in the heart’s arteries. Mammograms can show calcium in the breast arteries, which is closely linked to calcium in the coronary arteries. Calcium accumulates in artery walls, along with fat, cholesterol, and other substances to form plaque. Plaque narrows and hardens arteries, eventually leading to blockages that can trigger heart attacks. (Locked) More »

B vitamins may raise risk of lung cancer in men who smoke

High dosages of vitamin B6 and B12 supplements were associated with three to four times the lung cancer risk in male smokers compared with smokers who did not use the vitamins. However, men who quit smoking for at least 10 years prior to the study, and also took the high dosages of the B vitamins, did not have a higher risk of lung cancer. More »