What is Cancer? NCI Answers Your Questions
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease that affects the cells in the body. It is the most common cause of death in the United States. Cancer can develop from any type of cell in the body, but most often it occurs in the skin, lungs, breast, stomach, ovaries, and prostate.
There is no one cause of cancer. However, cancer is usually caused by the abnormal growth of cells. Cancer can also be caused by the exposure to cancer-causing substances, such as tobacco smoke, radiation, or chemicals.
Cancer is a serious medical condition that requires treatment. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy. Most people survive cancer if it is diagnosed and treated early. However, cancer can be fatal if not treated.
What are the symptoms of cancer?
The symptoms of cancer can vary depending on the type of cancer and the person’s age. However, the most common symptoms of cancer include:
A lump or swelling in the body
Nausea and vomiting
Cancer can also cause fever, fatigue, and chest pain. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor.
Can cancer be prevented?
There is no one answer to this question. However, cancer can be prevented by avoiding the exposure to cancer-causing substances. Also, early detection of cancer is important, so that it can be treated before it becomes life-threatening.
How is cancer diagnosed?
Cancer can be diagnosed through a variety of tests, including a physical exam, x-ray, and blood test. If the person has symptoms, the doctor may also perform a diagnostic test.
How is cancer treated?
Treatment for cancer depends on the type of cancer and the person’s age. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or bone marrow transplant. Most people survive cancer if it is diagnosed and treated early. However, cancer can be fatal if not treated.