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cancer (KAN-ser)

A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby
tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph
systems. There are several main types of cancer. Carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the skin
or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Sarcoma is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage,
fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Leukemia is a cancer that
starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal
blood cells to be produced and enter the blood. Lymphoma and multiple myeloma are cancers
that begin in the cells of the immune system. Central nervous system cancers are cancers that
begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Also called malignancy.

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