Cancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you don't need them, and old cells don't die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren't cancer while malignant ones are. Cells from malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.

Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Treatment plans may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

This site gives a brief overview of cancer and specific forms of cancers, as well as numerous links to other sources providing detailed information, the latest news, diagnosis/symptoms, treatment, prevention/screening, disease management, related issues, clinical trials, research, financial issues, research, journal articles and more.

Mayo Clinic
This site explains in detail what cancer is, symptoms, risk factors and causes, preparing for a doctor’s visit if cancer is suspected, tests and diagnosis, alternative medicine, coping and support, prevention, a link to the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and blogs about living with cancer.

National Cancer Institute
This site provides information and links to information about more specific types of cancer, treatment, prevention, genetics, causes, screening and testing, clinical trials, research and related information, and statistics. Información en Español.

American Cancer Society
This site gives an overview of cancer, signs and symptoms, its history, prevalence and probability of diagnosis, the economic impact of cancer, prevention, research, links to information about most forms of cancer, a cancer survivors’ network, the latest cancer-related news and more.

This site provides oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, including risk factors and prevention, genetics, treating cancer, clinical trials, managing the costs, coping, survivorship, advocacy, cancer news, factsheets and videos, and more.

This organization offers support for those affected by cancer and is engaged in programs and partnerships to increase cancer awareness and raise money for research. Información en Español.

Local Resources

Patient Navigator Program, UCHealth
The Patient Navigator Program is a free service of University of Colorado Health for residents of northern Colorado. Trained Patient Navigators are familiar with local and national resources for cancer and can provide support, information and guidance to patients and their families. To arrange a consultation, call 970-237-7700. The program also provides help exploring treatment options and offering guidance regarding complementary healthcare practices during treatment and recovery. Patient Navigators, however, do not give medical advice.

A part of the Lubick Foundation, RamStrength is a nonprofit organization that supports northern Colorado survivors of all cancer types with financial assistance for basic needs, scholarships, programs and services.

9Health Fair
The annual 9Health Fair, which takes place in several locations in northern Colorado, provides free and low-cost health awareness and educational screenings, including a take-home colon cancer screening kit.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about cancer, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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