cancer - Classification Further information: List of cancer...

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Classification Further information: List of cancer types Cancers are classified by the type of cell that resembles the tumor and, therefore, the tissue presumed to be the origin of the tumor. These are the histology and the location, respectively. Examples of general categories include: Carcinoma: Malignant tumors derived from epithelial cells. This group represents the most common cancers, including the common forms of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. Sarcoma: Malignant tumors derived from connective tissue, or mesenchymal cells. Lymphoma and leukemia: Malignancies derived from hematopoietic (blood-forming) cells Germ cell tumor: Tumors derived from totipotent cells. In adults most often found in the testicle and ovary; in fetuses, babies, and young children most often found on the body midline, particularly at the tip of the tailbone; in horses most often found at the poll (base of the skull). Blastic tumor or blastoma: A tumor (usually malignant) which resembles an immature or embryonic tissue. Many of these tumors are most common in children. Malignant tumors (cancers) are usually named using -carcinoma, -sarcoma or -blastoma as a suffix, with the Latin or Greek word for the organ of origin as the root. For instance, a cancer of the liver is called hepatocarcinoma; a cancer of the fat cells is called liposarcoma. For common cancers, the English organ name is used. For instance, the most common type of breast cancer is called ductal carcinoma of the breast or mammary ductal carcinoma. Here, the adjective ductal refers to the appearance of the cancer under the microscope, resembling normal breast ducts. Benign tumors (which are not cancers) are named using -oma as a suffix with the organ name as the root. For instance, a benign tumor of the smooth muscle of the uterus is called leiomyoma (the common name of this frequent tumor is fibroid). Unfortunately, some cancers also use the -oma suffix, examples being melanoma and seminoma. Signs and symptoms Symptoms of cancer metastasis depend on the location of the tumor. Roughly, cancer symptoms can be divided into three groups: Local symptoms: unusual lumps or swelling (tumor), hemorrhage (bleeding), pain and/or ulceration. Compression of surrounding tissues may cause symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing the eyes and skin).
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Symptoms of metastasis (spreading): enlarged lymph nodes, cough and hemoptysis, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), bone pain, fracture of affected bones and neurological symptoms. Although advanced cancer may cause pain, it is often not the first symptom. Systemic symptoms: weight loss, poor appetite, fatigue and cachexia (wasting), excessive sweating (night sweats), anemia and specific paraneoplastic phenomena, i.e. specific conditions that are due to an active cancer, such as thrombosis or hormonal changes. Every symptom in the above list can be caused by a variety of conditions (a list of which is referred to as
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This note was uploaded on 03/12/2010 for the course HEALTH 312 taught by Professor Krasner during the Spring '10 term at Texas El Paso.

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cancer - Classification Further information: List of cancer...

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