About Cancer

One in four deaths in the United States is due to cancer.1 The most common cancers in men are prostate, lung and colon. The most common cancers in women are breast, lung and colon.
  • Neoplasia: “new growth”
  • Tumor: Originally, tumor meant a mass caused by inflammation. However,
    currently its definition is the same as neoplasm. Tumor = neoplasm. Neoplasms, or tumors are classified according to their tissue origin (e.g. Breast, liver, stomach, brain, etc) and as either being benign or malignant.
  • Oncology: Oncos (greek oncos = tumor) is the study or tumors or neoplasms.
  • Benign neoplasms: Are tumors that are incapable of local invasion or distant
    spread. They can however cause displacement of adjacent structures due to their
  • Malignancy: The term malignancy implies that the new growth or tumor is
    capable of invasion into local structures or distant spread. When a neoplasm
    spreads to a distant site, that implanted tumor is now called a metastasis.
  • Cancer: The term cancer is reserved only for any malignant neoplasm (a new
    growth capable of local or distant invasion into a noncontiguous site).
1. Jemal A, Siegel R, Ward E, Hao Y, Xu J, Thun MJ. Cancer statistics, 2009. CA Cancer J Clin. 2009;59:225-49.
2. Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N. Pathologic Basis of Disease. 7th Edition ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2005.
3. Schneider AS, Szanto PA. Pathology: Board Review Series. 2 ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002.