Cancer: not one disease, but many
The cancer treatment specialists of Poudre Valley Cancer Network in northern Colorado know that cancer is not one disease, but many. More than 100 types of diseases that involve the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body fit under the umbrella called "cancer". Under the body's normal cell growth, cell reproduction is carefully regulated. However, sometimes the signals that control cell reproduction can malfunction. Uncontrolled cell growth can result in a lump, mass or tumor. Some cancers involving the blood and blood-forming organs do not form tumors but circulate through other tissues where they grow.
Listen to a brief podcast about the causes, symptoms and treatment of lymphoma and leukemia, featuring Dr. Steven Schuster.
A tumor may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Cells from cancerous tumors can spread throughout the body, in a process called metastasis. Metastatic cancer means cancer that has spread beyond the original site of the tumor. Common locations of metastasis are the bones, lungs and liver.
To learn more about cancer, we suggest the following Resources.
How did I get cancer?
The reasons people develop cancer are not yet well understood. Ongoing cancer research is bringing more understanding to how genetics, family history, environmental factors and lifestyle behaviors may play a role. Unfortunately, scientists have yet to discover all direct causes of cancer or why some people get cancer while others with similar characteristics or lifestyles do not.
The Cancer Journey
As you move beyond that initial shock of diagnosis to begin the journey of surviving your cancer, you have many good reasons to be hopeful. Medicine has made, and continues to make, great strides in treating cancer and in making cancer treatment more tolerable, both physically and emotionally. We also have many support services available to help you.
Experiencing cancer is not a challenge you face alone. It's a team effort that involves family, friends and your care team at Poudre Valley Cancer Network with locations in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, Colorado.