General term frequently used to indicate any of various types of malignant neoplasms, most of which invade surrounding tissues, may metastasize to several sites, and are likely to recur after attempted removal and to cause death of the patient unless adequately treated; especially, any such carcinoma or sarcoma, but, in ordinary usage, especially the former. [L. a crab, a c.]
- betel c. carcinoma of the mucous membrane of the cheek, observed in certain East Indian natives, probably as a result of irritation from chewing a preparation of betel nut and lime rolled within a betel leaf. SYN: buyo cheek c..
- buyo cheek c. SYN: betel c.. [Philippine buyo, betel]
- chimney sweep's c. a squamous cell carcinoma of the skin of the scrotum, occurring as an occupational disease in chimney sweeps. The first reported form of occupational c. (by Sir Percival Pott).
- colloid c. SYN: mucinous carcinoma.
- conjugal c. c. à deux occurring in husband and wife.
- c. à deux carcinomas occurring at approximately the same time, or in fairly close succession, in two persons who live together. [Fr. deux, two]
- c. en cuirasse (on-kwe-rahs′, Fr. breastplate) a carcinoma that involves a considerable portion of the skin of one or both sides of the thorax. [Fr. breastplate]
- epidermoid c. SYN: epidermoid carcinoma.
- epithelial c. any malignant neoplasm originating from epithelium, i.e., a carcinoma.
- familial c. c. aggregating among blood relative s; rarely the mode of inheritance is clearly mendelian, either dominant, as in retinoblastoma, basal cell nevus syndrome, neurofibromatosis, and intestinal polyposis, or recessive, as in xeroderma pigmentosum. SEE ALSO: c. family.
- hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal c. an autosomal dominant predisposition to c. of the colon and rectum.
- kang c., kangri c. a carcinoma of the skin of the thigh or abdomen in certain Indian or Chinese workers; thought to result from irritation by heat from a hot brick oven (kang) or fire basket (kangri). SYN: kangri burn carcinoma.
- mouse c. any of various types of malignant neoplasms that occur naturally in mice, especially in certain inbred “c. strains” used for research studies.
- mule-spinner's c. carcinoma of the scrotum or adjacent skin exposed to oil, observed in some workers in cotton-spinning mills.
- paraffin c. carcinoma of the skin occurring as an occupational disease in paraffin workers.
- pipe-smoker's c. squamous cell carcinoma of the lips occurring in pipe smokers.
- pitch-worker's c. carcinoma of the skin of the face or neck, arms and hands, or the scrotum, resulting from exposure to carcinogens in pitch, which occurs naturally as asphalt, or as a residue in the distillation of tar.
- scar c. SYN: scar carcinoma.
- scar c. of the lungs a pulmonary c. intimately related to a localized area of parenchymal fibrosis.
- telangiectatic c. a c. with numerous dilated capillaries and “lakes” of blood within relatively large endothelium-lined channels.

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can·cer 'kan(t)-sər n
1) a malignant tumor of potentially unlimited growth that expands locally by invasion and systemically by metastasis
2) an abnormal state marked by a cancer
can·cer·ous 'kan(t)s-(ə-)rəs adj

* * *

any malignant tumour, including carcinoma and sarcoma. It arises from the abnormal and uncontrolled division of cells that then invade and destroy the surrounding tissues. Spread of cancer cells (metastasis) may occur via the bloodstream or the lymphatic channels or across body cavities such as the pleural and peritoneal spaces, thus setting up secondary tumours (metastases) at sites distant from the original tumour. Each individual primary tumour has its own pattern of local behaviour and spread; for example, bone metastasis is very common in breast and prostate cancer but less common in other tumours.
There are probably many causative factors, some of which are known; for example, cigarette smoking is associated with lung cancer, radiation with some sarcomas and leukaemia, and several viruses are implicated (see oncogenic). A genetic element is implicated in the development of many cancers. In more than half of all cancers a gene called p53 is deleted or impaired: its normal function is to prevent the uncontrolled division of cells (see tumour necrosis factor).
Treatment of cancer depends on the type of tumour, the site of the primary tumour, and the extent of spread.

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can·cer (kanґsər) [L. “crab,” “malignant tumor”] a neoplastic disease the natural course of which is fatal. Cancer cells, unlike benign tumor cells, exhibit the properties of invasion and metastasis and are highly anaplastic. Cancer includes the two broad categories of carcinoma and sarcoma, but in normal usage it is often used synonymously with carcinoma. cancerous adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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