A diagnosis of cancer can be a shock, making you feel out of control and overwhelmed. 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.

What’s next?

Medicine has made—and continues to make—great 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. It’s a team effort that involves family, friends, and your healthcare team. Don’t 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

Daily Cancer News


Feature Articles in Women on Cancer

Cancer Survivorship: Creative Therapies
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HPV Myths and Facts
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Nutritional Needs during Cancer Treatment
Expert insight into eating well during cancer treatment

Advances in Cancer Research and Treatment: 2015 Year in Review
A look at 10 of the most significant advances of the past year.

The Proof Is in the Outcomes
Outcomes data provide patients with an inside look at cancer centers’ performance records.

Look Good…Feel 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 one’s mind—the worry that something is wrong and that it could be cancer.

Robot-Assisted Cancer Surgery
Technology expands the tools available to surgeons.

Set the Date…for 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 September 1, 2001, his fiftieth birthday.

Don’t 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