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All You Need to Know about Types of Cancer Cells
- Basically, cancer is always a disease that affects your cells.When your cells are invaded by cancer, however, the DNA instructions are overridden.
- Some of the types of cancer cells include these five categories: carcinoma, sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, and central nervous system.
Cancer can be a scary diagnosis, especially when you do not know much about the disease. Having some understanding of how cancer develops in the body and the types of cancer cells affected you can at least approach the disease with more knowledge and maybe a little less fear.
How Cancer Starts
Most of us aware of cancer’s destructive and dangerous consequences but we know little of how it reaches that point. Basically, cancer is always a disease that affects your cells. Your body contains millions of cells and each of those cells contains your DNA which instructs the cell how to divide and multiply as needed. Keep in mind that throughout your body cells are aging, dying, and being replaced by newer cells as needed.
When your cells are invaded by cancer, however, the DNA instructions are overridden. The cancer causes the cell to reproduce en masse. As a result, these types of cancer cells build up in your body and form tumors. Tumors are not always present with cancer but overproduction of the affected cells.
Terms Related to Types of Cancer Cells
When a cancer diagnosis is given, the physician will normally spout off words associated with the cancer and the type of cells being affected. Some of the types of cancer cells include these five categories: carcinoma, sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, and central nervous system. The terms refer to the location of the cells. With carcinoma, the cancer starts in internal organ tissue or the skin. Sarcoma refers to cancer affecting the bone, muscles, and connective tissue. Leukemia affects blood cells, lymphoma hits the immune system, and the last of the five attacks the brain and spine.
Cancer cells are also defined by the way they appear under a microscope. For example, cancer cells are sometimes described as large or small cell. The cancer cells even in a single part of the body can be either large or small, and this size difference can sometimes indicate potential behaviors of the cancer. For example, some types of small cell lung cancer spread quickly to other parts of the body.
Other terms used to describe the appearance of cancer cells include clear, spindle, squamous (most commonly heard about in relation to skin cancer but also applies to cancer of your organs’ lining), and adenocarcinoma.
Benign & Malignant
Types of cancer cells are also referred to as either benign or malignant. This determination is normally made after the cancer diagnosis by your physician who examines the tumor and the surrounding tissue. If the cells are benign, they are not cancerous which means the extra cells are staying in one location and are not causing damage to surrounding tissue. The tumor is normally still removed but it does not return.
With malignant cancer cells, however, the cells actually spread. One cell is affected then another then a different organ. The process is known as metastasis. When this occurs, the tumor is cancerous. Malignant cells are very dangerous and can spread more quickly from some parts of the body. For example, if the cells enter the lymphatic system they can spread fast through the body, causing damage, and leading to death.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Cancer Types30 Dec 2008|