Cancerabnormal cell division

Cancerous diseases are characterised by the growth of abnormal cells that invade surrounding tissues and metasasis (the spread of cancerous cells to other parts of the body).

When cells in an area of the body divide without control, the excess tissue that develops is called a tumour, growth or neoplasm. The study of tumours is called oncology and a physician who specialises in this field is called an oncologist.

Tumours may be cancerous and sometimes fatal, or they may be quite harmless. A cancerous growth is called a malignant tumour and a non-cancerous growth is called a benign tumour. Benign tumours do not spread to other parts of the body but they may be removed if they interfere with a normal body function or are disfiguring. Cancers are classified according to their microscopic appearance and the body site from which they arise.

The name of the cancer is derived from the type of tissue in which it develops. Most human cancers are carcinomas, malignant tumours that arise from epithelial cells. Melanomas, for example, are cancerous growths of melanocytes, the skin cells that produce the pigment melanin.

Common pathologies of cells and tissues 25

Sarcoma is a general term for any cancer arising from muscle cells or connective tissues. For example, osteogenic sarcomas (bone cancer) is the most frequent type of childhood cancer, which destroys normal bone tissue and eventually spreads to other areas of the body.

Leukaemia is a cancer of blood-forming organs characterised by rapid growth and distorted development of leucoytes. Lymphoma is a malignant disease of lymphatic tissue such as the lymph nodes. An example is Hodgkin's disease.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

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