An uncontrollable growth of abnormal, malignant cells in the body. There are over 100 different types of cancerous diseases, which can affect just about any part of the body.
Cancer typically occurs when normal body cells multiply too rapidly, being forced upon the body when they are not needed. The result of this phenomena produces a mass of cells, also called a tumor. These growths can either be benign (non-cancerous and non life threatening) or malignant (cancerous and able to spread life-threatening diseases).
Symptoms of this condition can vary depending on the type of cancer it is. As an individual’s condition progresses to a more advanced stage, common symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea and weight loss may be present. However, these may be more accurately described as responses to an individual’s cancer treatment or other ills associated with their disease.
There are four main procedures to help treat cancer:
- Chemotherapy – a type of treatment that uses chemical agents to destroy infections and diseases within the body.
- Radiation therapy – the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancerous cells within the body.
- Immunotherapy – a type of biologic treatment that stimulates certain parts of the immune system to fight diseases.