Virginia Cancer Institute - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

About Cancer

Cancer is not one disease, but many diseases that occur in different areas of the body. Each type of cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells. Under normal conditions, cell reproduction is carefully controlled by the body. However, these controls can malfunction, resulting in abnormal cell growth and the development of a lump, mass, or tumor. Some cancers involving the blood and blood-forming organs do not form tumors but circulate through other tissues where they grow.

A tumor may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Cells from cancerous tumors can spread throughout the body. This process, called metastasis, occurs when cancer cells break away from the original tumor and travel in the circulatory or lymphatic systems until they are lodged in a small capillary network in another area of the body. Common locations of metastasis are the bones, lungs, liver, and central nervous system.

The type of cancer refers to the organ or area of the body where the cancer first occurred. Cancer that has metastasized to other areas of the body is named for the part of the body where it originated. For example, if breast cancer has spread to the bones, it is called “metastatic breast cancer” not bone cancer.

Cancer Prevention

Even though the medical field has made tremendous progress, there is still much to discover about cancer. However, we do know that there are several biological and environmental factors that can increase a person’s risk of getting the disease.

  • Do not use tabocco of any kind.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and chewing tabacco can lead to cancer of the mouth or throat.

  • Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegatables each day.
  • Foods from other plant sources such as whole grains and beans have many beneficial qualities as well.

  • Eat light, lean foods.
  • High-fat diets may increase your risk of cancer

  • Stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Obesity may be a rish factor for certain types of cancer.

  • Protect yourself from the sun.
  • Sun exposure is the most common cause of skin cancer, which is one of the most common types of cancer and also one of the most preventable.

  • Follow the recommended guidelines for regular cancer screening and self-examinations, which increase your chances of discovering cancer early.
  • Screening should include your skin, mouth, colon, and rectum. Men should also include prostate and testes screenings. Cervical and breast cancer screenings should be included for women.
  • Cancer TypesMore>>



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