Maybe it’s because we know so many people who have it. Maybe it’s because you were recently diagnosed with it. Maybe it’s because we turn on the news and hear the latest fight against it.
Cancer permeates our conversations often these days. But do you know exactly what the word “cancer” means?
The oldest description of cancer dates back to about 3000 BC in Egypt – in an ancient Egyptian textbook on trauma surgery. Hippocrates in 400 BC called masses of cancerous cells karkinos — Greek for crab.
Today, the term “cancer” is the name given to a collection of diseases with a common factor: a normal cell goes berserk and grows and divides at a rapid, uncontrolled rate.
Here are answers to some common questions about the characteristics of cancer, provided by the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Hematology: