Types of cancer

Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases. Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues. When cancer develops, however, this orderly process breaks down. As cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumors. There are more than 100 types of cancer. Types of cancer are usually named for the organs or tissues where the cancers form. For example, lung cancer starts in cells of the lung, and brain cancer starts in cells of the brain. Cancers also may be described by the type of cell that formed them, such as an epithelial cell or a squamous cell.

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