Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by an uncontrolled growth of
abnormal cells. If the spread of these abnormal cells is not controlled, cancer
can cause death. Most cancers take the form of tumors, although not all tumors
are cancers. A tumor is simply a mass of new tissue that serves no
physiological purpose. It can be benign, like a wart, or malignant, like cancer.
Benign tumors are made up of cells similar to the surrounding normal cells and
are enclosed in a membrane that prevents them from penetrating neighboring
tissues. They are dangerous only if their physical presence interferes with
bodily functions. A malignant tumor, or cancer, is capable of invading
surrounding structures, including blood vessels, the lymph system and nerves.
It can also spread to distant sites by the blood and lymphatic circulation and
so can produce invasive tumors in almost any part of the body.
In 1997, an estimated 1,359,150 people in the United States will be
diagnosed with cancer and 554,740 will die of the disease. Early screening for
cancer is believed to be able to drastically reduce the number of deaths due to
the disease. Knowing what to look for when detecting cancer, as well as knowing
if you are in a high risk population are two of the main factors of early
intervention. Early intervention of cancer has proven to increase survival
rates and lower the length and severity of treatments. Detection and protection
are two types of ambulatory care for cancer that begin before the disease is
Cancer often causes symptoms that you can watch for. These include:
change in bowel or bladder habits; a sore that does not heal; unusual bleeding
or discharge; thickening or lump in the breast or any other part of the body;
indigestion or difficulty swallowing; obvious change in a wart or mole; and
nagging cough or hoarseness. These symptoms are not always warning signs of
cancer. They can also be caused by less serious conditions.... [continues]
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"Cancer." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cancer-2138.html.