Women's Health

Cancer a Primer

by Dr. C.H. Weaver M.D. 8/17/2018

Getting informed can help alleviate these feelings. Remember, very few cancers require emergency treatment; you have time to learn about your diagnosis and treatment options, ask questions, and get a second opinion.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is not one disease, but many diseases that occur in different areas of the body. Each type of cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells. Under normal conditions, cell reproduction is carefully controlled by the body. However, these controls can malfunction, resulting in abnormal cell growth and the development of a lump, mass, or tumor. Some cancers involving the blood and blood-forming organs do not form tumors but circulate through other tissues where they grow.

A tumor may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Cells from cancerous tumors can spread throughout the body. This process, called metastasis, occurs when cancer cells break away from the original tumor and travel in the circulatory or lymphatic systems until they are lodged in a small capillary network in another area of the body. Common locations of metastasis are the bones, lungs, liver, and central nervous system.

The type of cancer refers to the organ or area of the body where the cancer first occurred. Cancer that has metastasized to other areas of the body is named for the part of the body where it originated. For example, if breast cancer has spread to the bones, it is called metastatic breast cancer not bone cancer.

Whats next?

Medicine has madeand continues to makegreat strides in treating cancer and in making cancer treatment more tolerable, both physically and emotionally. No one would call cancer a normal experience, but by proactively managing aspects of your treatment, you can maintain a sense of normalcy in your life. Fighting cancer is not a challenge you face alone. Its a team effort that involves family, friends, and your healthcare team. Dont overlook the strength that can come from having your support network by your side.

Common Cancers Affecting Women

Breast Cancer

Bladder Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Skin Cancer

Lung Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Other Cancers

Feature Articles in Women on Cancer

Cancer Survivorship: Creative Therapies

Creativity is inherently therapeutic, whether we are making something ourselves or enjoying the creativity of others.

HPV Myths and Facts

Learn more about this common virus and available vaccines.

Q&A: Understanding Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

What is hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome?

Nutritional Needs during Cancer Treatment

Expert insight into eating well during cancer treatment

The Proof Is in the Outcomes

Outcomes data provide patients with an inside look at cancer centers performance records.

Look GoodFeel Better® Care for Sensitive Skin During Treatment

Care for sensitive skin during treatment

Finding Your Way Through Cancer

The title of my book, Finding Your Way through Cancer, speaks to the journey a person begins as soon as the worry enters ones mindthe worry that something is wrong and that it could be cancer.

Robot-Assisted Cancer Surgery

Technology expands the tools available to surgeons.

Set the Datefor Cancer Screenings

Screening guidelines should initiate conversations with your healthcare team

Using Technology to Target Cancer

Advances in radiation therapy boost the dose to cancer while reducing the damage to normal cells.

A Different Kind of Deposit

Adult stem cell collection is now an option for the general population. How can individuals benefit from this process, and what questions should consumers be asking?

We have Prostate Cancer

My husband, Roger, was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer on his fiftieth birthday.

Dont Suffer Silently

A cancer diagnosis can be frightening, but counseling can provide relief from the emotional challenges of the journey.

Ask The Doctor

As I move from active treamtent to survivorship, how can I ensure that I am getting the care I need and doing all that I can to avoid recurrence?

A Close Look at Lymphoma

An overview of Lymphoma


Health & Conditions