The Nature of Cancer

Cancer is almost always a treatable disease if it is detected early enough. It is much easier to treat before it has spread. But cancer is often lethal if left unchecked. Malignant cancer at the most basic level is abnormal cell growth that reaches out creating new abnormal cells, while it's center core consumes healthy cells in the breast. This creates a tumor, which is a lumped group of abnormal cells. Cancer cells often spread through the body. Medical scientists call this autonomy, meaning the cancer works on it's own. Some health care professionals have even compared cancer to an unruly street gang, a disorganized mob that has no rules for how living cells normally behave.

A healthy cell is born, lives a short life, and then dies. Cancer cells are different. Cancer cells cultivated in a laboratory do not die as quickly they continue to grow and start new tumors. Cancer cells don't live normal cell cycles. Their uncontrolled birth and delayed death make cancer cell growth rapid, widespread and destructive.

Early detection and early treatment are the only ways we know to stop cancer. Even if you have advanced cancer, it is recommended that you seek treatment to reduce it's destructive effects.

 © 1999 Michigan State University
Communication Technology Laboratory