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What is Cancer?

Cancer constitutes a wide-ranging category denoting numerous medical conditions characterized by the unregulated proliferation of abnormal cells. Unlike normal cells, cancerous cells or malignant cells, start dividing rapidly and uncontrollably, resulting in the formation of tumors. Normal cells follow programmed cell death or apoptosis, while cancerous cells disregard this regulation. Additionally, while normal cells in solid organs remain stationary, cancer cells have the ability to migrate and spread throughout the body. These abnormal cells can invade nearby tissues and organs, disrupting normal bodily functions.

Cancer often arises from mutations in genes that control cell growth and division. These mutations can be inherited or acquired over a lifetime due to various factors.

Cancer has the potential to manifest in virtually any area of the body and can stem from a variety of cellular compositions. There are over 200 different types of cancer, each named for the part of the body where it starts such as breast cancer and lung cancer.

Cancers are classified based on several factors, including the type of tissue or organ where the cancer originates, the histological characteristics of the cancer cells, and the extent or stage of the disease. Here's a concise overview of how cancers are classified: