Cancer is a broad term used to encompass several malignant diseases. There are over 100 different types of cancer, affecting various parts of the body. Each type of cancer is unique with its own causes, symptoms, and methods of treatment. Like with all groups of disease, some types of cancer are more common than other. Cancer has the potential to affect every organ in the body. The cells within malignant tumors have the ability to invade neighboring tissues and organs, thus spreading the disease. It is also possible for cancerous cells to break free from the tumor and enter the bloodstream, in turn spreading the disease to other organs. This process of spreading is called metastasis.
When cancer has metastasized and has affected other areas of the body, the disease is still referred to the organ of origination. For instance, if cervical cancer spreads to the lungs, it is still called cervical cancer, not lung cancer.
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