Cancer : A Common Misconception About Cancer

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What is Cancer?
A common misconception about cancer is that it is a relatively new disease. Cancer, like many diseases have been prevalent in the populations of many species, not just humans, for millennia. In fact it was a Roman doctor who translated the Greek word “carcinos” into “cancer”, a Latin word meaning “crab”. The reason why cancer is referred to as a crab is because a cancer “adheres to any part that it seizes upon in an obstinate manner like a crab” (Ramzi S. Cotran et al. Robbins- Pathologic Basis of Disease, 1999). Cancer or neoplasm is any new abnormal growth that is growing in a very fast and uncoordinated way compared to normal tissues. What we refer to as a tumour is in fact the same as a neoplasm and any non-neoplastic usage of the term tumour has passed into limbo. A neoplasm can be benign or malignant whereas cancer refers to malignant neoplasm.

Cancer Today
Cancer is one of the most well-known and most talked about disease in today’s world. This is because the incidence of the disease has never been higher. It is estimated that around 2.5 million people in the UK today, have been diagnosed with cancer. This figure has increased by around 500,000 in the last five years, and it is said that by the end of 2016 over a thousand people will be diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 2 people today will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.
The reason why the incidence of cancer has

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