Cancer is a horror word, and yet it is not anything foreign in the body. In fact, a tumor is the body's own cells over-producing. It is almost ironic that something so wonderful as growth produces a scourge as dangerous as cancer.
There are of course numerous types of cancer. Theoretically, there is probably a different type of cancer for each of the body's different cell types, more than 250 in all.
There are many different major classes of cancers. Not all cancers are solid tumors, because some cells move around the body. The different classes of cancers include:
- Cancers (named simply by site): skin, colon, cervix, larynx, throat, testicular, breast, ovarian, uterus, pancreatic, bone, bowel, lung, and so on.
- Leukemias: cancers of the white blood cells (sometimes red), resulting in cell proliferation but no solid tumor.
- Lymphoma (cancer of lymph nodes): subcategorized into Hodgkin's Lymphoma or Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)
- Sarcoma: a general term for any cancer that affects internal soft tissues (e.g. muscles, tendons, etc.). A sarcoma can affect many parts of the body (e.g. bone: osteosarcoma, etc.)
- Carcinoma: a general term for a cancer affecting the surface areas and epithelial cells of the body or organs. A carcinoma can occur anywhere, and are named according to where they occur.
- Different names: There are numerous cancers that have a different naming pattern simply for historic reasons: melanoma (cancer of pigment-producing skin cells), myeloma (cancer of plasma cells of the immune system), and many others.
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