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

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Sarcomas are a type of cancer that develops from the soft tissues (fleshy parts) of the body, as well as from bone and fatty tissue. This type of cancer is different from carcinomas. Carcinomas develop more frequently in the body's organs, especially those organs that contain glands. Examples of carcinomas include lung cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer that forms in the skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles attach to bones. They help the body move. Most rhabdomyosarcomas occur in children and teenagers. Rhabdomyosarcoma can occur anywhere in the body. It typically appears in the arms, legs, head and neck, bladder, reproductive organs, chest, and abdomen. Rhabdomyosarcoma can spread to other organs. (Locked) More »

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

A sarcoma is a cancer that develops from particular tissues, such as muscle or bone. In contrast, most cancers develop from organs that contain glands, such as the breast, colon, prostate and lung, among others. There are two types of sarcoma: osteosarcoma, which develops from bone, and soft tissue sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcoma can arise from muscle, fat, nerves, cartilage, or blood vessels. Cancerous tumors can develop when abnormal cells in these tissues multiply and grow out of control. Scientists do not yet fully understand why these cells become abnormal. However, most cancers are thought to develop due to genetic changes (mutations). The tumor is named based on the type of tissue it resembles. For example, a soft tissue sarcoma that looks like fat is called a liposarcoma; a tumor that looks like fibrous tissue is called a fibrosarcoma. If a soft tissue sarcoma resembles more than one type of tissue, its name will reflect its complex appearance. For example, a neurofibrosarcoma develops in the fibrous tissue surrounding a nerve. A soft tissue sarcoma that doesn't look like any normal tissue is undifferentiated or unclassified. (Locked) More »

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 »

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 »