Main definitions of cancer in English

: cancer1Cancer2

cancer1

noun

mass noun
  • 1A disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body.

    ‘he's got cancer’
    ‘lung cancer’
    • ‘Pesticides have also been associated with a series of other diseases, including cancer.’
    • ‘Some of those volunteers will develop cancer, heart disease or mental illness.’
    • ‘They have become the main providers of funding for research into cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘This may predispose people to conditions such as cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘Diseases caused by aberrant gene expression include viral diseases and cancer.’
    • ‘I gave up smoking because I didn't want to die prematurely of cancer or heart disease.’
    • ‘A large number of people with cancer overcome the disease and live fulfilled lives for many years.’
    • ‘Consider why the patient has consulted; many are worried about heart disease or cancer.’
    • ‘Other lung conditions such as lung cancer will need to be ruled out as part of the diagnosis.’
    • ‘The city is a regional centre for the treatment of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘The knowledge gained could cure cancer, prevent heart disease, and feed millions.’
    • ‘The biggest killer of children last year was not cancer or natural diseases but road accidents.’
    • ‘Vital research will include finding new drugs to treat diseases such as cancer.’
    • ‘Cases progress slowly resulting in chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis and cancer.’
    • ‘As doctors we are all too aware of the natural causes of death, such as cancer and heart disease, the top killers.’
    • ‘Exercise does not just lower our chances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.’
    • ‘Despite the advances in treatment in recent years, cancer remains a distressing disease.’
    • ‘Denos died last Wednesday after a long battle against cancer and the lung disease emphysema.’
    • ‘Stopping smoking can help to slow the progress of the condition and help to reduce the chances of lung cancer.’
    • ‘Members suffer from illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.’
    1. 1.1count noun A malignant growth or tumour resulting from an uncontrolled division of cells.
      ‘most skin cancers are curable’
      • ‘Because sunburn changes the skin's DNA, it has been linked to skin cancers.’
      • ‘Lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that originate in the lymphatic system.’
      • ‘In almost all cancers, the cancer cells are found to have a mutation in one or more genes.’
      • ‘The cream is applied to a skin cancer and given time to be absorbed by the malignant cells.’
      • ‘Malignant tumours are the real cancers and they behave quite differently from benign tumours.’
      • ‘The goal of chemotherapy in people with early cancers is usually to kill the cancerous cells and to cure the condition.’
      • ‘They will also ask if anyone in your family has had endometrial cancer or other related cancers.’
      • ‘In almost all bladder cancers, the cancer cells show a loss of part of the long arm of chromosome number 9.’
      • ‘Most stomach cancers form a tumour or an ulcer in the inner lining of the stomach.’
      • ‘Certain cancers and treatments are associated with specific fears.’
      • ‘Exercise can help reduce obesity, which is related to the cause of several cancers.’
      • ‘The growth of a cancer has a different path of development from that of the healthy body.’
      • ‘Almost all oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas caused, in the majority of cases, by smoking and drinking.’
      • ‘As with many cancers, the best way to diagnose testicular cancer is with an operation.’
      • ‘Skin cancers are the most common form of cancer in the West, particularly in people such as farmers who are exposed to lots of sunlight.’
      • ‘Leukaemia is the name for a number of cancers of the white blood cells.’
      • ‘The single greatest cause of most skin cancers is excessive exposure to sunlight.’
      • ‘Some cancers present few if any symptoms and cause few problems and little to no pain.’
      • ‘The experiment shows that not all cancers are destined to become malignant.’
      • ‘In particular, it is thought to cause mesothelioma, a cancer of the outer lining of the lung or the abdomen.’
      malignant growth, cancerous growth, malignant tumour, tumour, malignancy
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2count noun An evil or destructive practice or phenomenon that is hard to contain or eradicate.
      ‘gambling is a cancer sweeping across the nation’
      • ‘Those people are a cancer in our society and they deserve to be in jail.’
      • ‘People need to devise their own ways of controlling and correcting their youth lest they become the cancer of the community.’
      • ‘the financial services industry is like a cancer in our society.’
      • ‘Domestic violence in America is on the rise and we need to be aware that it is a cancer in our society.’
      • ‘Depression is a cancer of the soul, it eats away at the core of who you are and replaces it with doubt and pain and fear.’
      evil, blight, scourge, poison, canker, sickness, disease, pestilence, plague
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English, from Latin, ‘crab or creeping ulcer’, translating Greek karkinos, said to have been applied to such tumours because the swollen veins around them resembled the limbs of a crab. canker was the usual form until the 17th century Compare with Cancer.

Pronunciation

cancer

/ˈkansə/

Main definitions of cancer in English

: cancer1Cancer2

Cancer2

proper noun

  • 1Astronomy
    A constellation (the Crab), said to represent a crab crushed under the foot of Hercules. It contains the globular star cluster of Praesepe or the Beehive.

    1. 1.1as genitive Cancri /ˈkaŋkri/ Used with preceding letter or numeral to designate a star in the constellation Cancer.
      ‘the star Delta Cancri’
  • 2Astrology
    The fourth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters at the northern summer solstice (about 21 June).

    1. 2.1a Cancer A person born when the sun is in the sign of Cancer.
      • ‘It's natural for Cancers to be cynics, but it's eating you up inside.’
      • ‘I'm a Cancer, I hate avocados and most animals, and I'm in a band you've never heard of called The Like.’
      • ‘Traditionally, the caring professions attract sun-sign Cancers, but professions connected with the past also appeal greatly, as does cookery.’
      • ‘Cancers tend to attach themselves to physical objects for emotional healing.’
      • ‘Unlike most Cancers, natives of this Sun-Moon sign do not feel the need to guard their emotions.’

Origin

Latin.

Pronunciation

Cancer

/ˈkansə/