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Lung Cancer Guide photo Understanding The Issues

What is Cancer?

The word cancer is scary for a lot of people. While there are good reasons for these quiet and often unspoken fears, there is also hope. The facts are that many people with cancer are cured, many are helped, though many still die. Medical progress in the treatment of cancer continues to be made.

Cancer is a word that is used to describe a group of diseases. There are many different types of cancer, but they all have one thing in common - the abnormal growth of cells beyond what is normal for cells. Left uncontrolled, cancer cells invade normal tissues and disrupt body functions.

You may be asking yourself, "Why me? Why did I get cancer?" Cells that are not normal develop in our bodies all the time. Usually the body destroys them, but sometimes the body misses them and they develop into a cancer. Scientists aren't sure why some people develop cancer and others don't. Many factors play a role in the beginning of a cancer - genetic background, physical environment, diet, as well as many unknown factors.

You may want to write down your answers to the following questions. There is a form later in this section you can print out.

What I think of when I hear the word "cancer":

People I know who have cancer:

My reaction when I found out someone I know had cancer:





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