Understanding cancer terms

Oncology is the study of tumors, both benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous). An oncologist is a specialist in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of tumors or cancers.

“The signs and symptoms of cancer are manifestations of how cancer cells replace the functions of healthy tissue. Some examples include anorexia (lack of appetite), bruising, leukocytosis (slight increase of white blood cells), fatigue, cachexia (wasting), and thrombocytopenia (deficiency of clotting cells).”

Cancers are capable of destroying not only the tissue in which they originate (the primary site), but also other tissues, through the process of metastasis, the spread of cancer. Metastasis can occur by direct extension to contiguous organs and tissues or to distant sites through blood.

All cancers are neoplasms (new growths), but not all neoplasms are cancerous. Cancerous tumors are termed malignant, whereas noncancerous tumors are termed benign.

Staging of cancer:

To treat cancer, the treating physician must determine the severity of the cancer, the grade, and its stage, or size and spread. Cancers at different grades and stages react differently to various treatments.

From reports T stands for the tumour size, N fro the node status and its involvement and M is the bad sad spread.

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