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Created By: Jessica Stewart
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http://cancer.about.com/od/newlydiagnosed/a/whatcancer.htm

How Does Cancer Develop?
The organs in our body are made up of cells. Cells divide and multiply as the body needs them. [1]When these cells continue multiplying when the body doesn't need them, the result is a mass or growth, also called a tumor.

These growths are considered either benign or malignant. Benign is considered non-cancerous and malignant is cancerous. Benign tumors rarely are life threatening and do not spread to other parts of the body. They can often be removed.
Malignant tumors, however, often invade nearby tissue and organs, spreading the disease.




How Does Cancer Spread to Other Parts of the Body?
[2]The cells within malignant tumors have the ability to invade neighboring tissues and organs, thus spreading the disease. It is also possible for cancerous cells to break free from the tumor site and enter the bloodstream, spreading the disease to other organs. This process of spreading is called metastasis.

When cancer has metastasized and has affected other areas of the body, the disease is still referred to the organ of origination. For example, if cervical cancer spreads to the lungs, it is still called cervical cancer, not lung cancer.

[3]Although most cancers develop and spread this way -- via an organ - blood cancer like leukemia do not. They affect the blood and the organs that form blood and then invade nearby tissues.
Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of cancer vary based on the type of cancer. As cancer progresses to an advanced stage, common symptoms can include weight loss, fever, and fatigue. These are very non-specific symptoms that are more likely related to other less serious illnesses than cancer.
[4]Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of cancer vary based on the type of cancer. As cancer progresses to an advanced stage, common symptoms can include weight loss, fever, and fatigue. These are very non-specific symptoms that are more likely related to other less serious illnesses than cancer.

Treatment of Cancer
[5]There are four standard methods of treatment for cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy/biologic therapy. When initially diagnosed with cancer, a cancer specialist (called an oncologist) will provide the patient with cancer treatment options. He or she will recommend the best treatment plan based on the type of cancer, how far it has spread, and other important factors like age and general health.

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