Cancer And Cancer : The Advantage Of Cancer

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According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the broad name given to a collection of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade healthy cells (“What is Cancer?”, 2015). The human body is made up of trillions of cells that grow, divide, and die on a regulated cycle. When errors occur and build up over time, the likelihood of cancer increases. This can result in cells that are old or damaged not dying as they should, and new cells growing when they are not needed. These cells ignore cell cycle control signals, and may divide unchecked, forming growths called tumors (“What is Cancer?”, 2015). There are two types of tumors: malignant and benign. Tumors that are malignant are cancerous, and they invade nearby tissues or travel to distant parts of the body. Tumors that form away from the original tumor site are called metastatic cancer. Benign tumors, on the other hand, do not invade nearby tissue, and, when removed, usually do not grow back. While everyone is susceptible to cancer, some groups bear a disproportionate burden of cancer compared with others, due often to differences in detection and treatment related to race, gender, and socioeconomic status (“Cancer Disparities”, 2016). Because of these disparities, certain groups continue to be at an increased risk of developing or dying from particular cancers. One example of many is that African Americans have higher death rates than all other groups for most cancer types (“Cancer Disparities”, 2016).
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