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’
    • ‘Members suffer from illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.’
    • ‘The city is a regional centre for the treatment of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘Consider why the patient has consulted; many are worried about heart disease or cancer.’
    • ‘The biggest killer of children last year was not cancer or natural diseases but road accidents.’
    • ‘This may predispose people to conditions such as cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘Other lung conditions such as lung cancer will need to be ruled out as part of the diagnosis.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Stopping smoking can help to slow the progress of the condition and help to reduce the chances of lung cancer.’
    • ‘Vital research will include finding new drugs to treat diseases such as cancer.’
    • ‘Despite the advances in treatment in recent years, cancer remains a distressing disease.’
    • ‘Exercise does not just lower our chances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.’
    • ‘Diseases caused by aberrant gene expression include viral diseases and cancer.’
    • ‘Pesticides have also been associated with a series of other diseases, including cancer.’
    • ‘As doctors we are all too aware of the natural causes of death, such as cancer and heart disease, the top killers.’
    • ‘Denos died last Wednesday after a long battle against cancer and the lung disease emphysema.’
    • ‘A large number of people with cancer overcome the disease and live fulfilled lives for many years.’
    • ‘The knowledge gained could cure cancer, prevent heart disease, and feed millions.’
    • ‘Cases progress slowly resulting in chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis and cancer.’
    • ‘I gave up smoking because I didn't want to die prematurely of cancer or heart disease.’
    1. 1.1count noun A malignant growth or tumour resulting from an uncontrolled division of cells.
      ‘most skin cancers are curable’
      • ‘Malignant tumours are the real cancers and they behave quite differently from benign tumours.’
      • ‘In particular, it is thought to cause mesothelioma, a cancer of the outer lining of the lung or the abdomen.’
      • ‘Leukaemia is the name for a number of cancers of the white blood cells.’
      • ‘Almost all oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas caused, in the majority of cases, by smoking and drinking.’
      • ‘Because sunburn changes the skin's DNA, it has been linked to skin cancers.’
      • ‘The goal of chemotherapy in people with early cancers is usually to kill the cancerous cells and to cure the condition.’
      • ‘Most stomach cancers form a tumour or an ulcer in the inner lining of the stomach.’
      • ‘The experiment shows that not all cancers are destined to become malignant.’
      • ‘Some cancers present few if any symptoms and cause few problems and little to no pain.’
      • ‘Exercise can help reduce obesity, which is related to the cause of several cancers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The single greatest cause of most skin cancers is excessive exposure to sunlight.’
      • ‘In almost all cancers, the cancer cells are found to have a mutation in one or more genes.’
      • ‘Certain cancers and treatments are associated with specific fears.’
      • ‘Lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that originate in the lymphatic system.’
      • ‘They will also ask if anyone in your family has had endometrial cancer or other related cancers.’
      • ‘The growth of a cancer has a different path of development from that of the healthy body.’
      • ‘In almost all bladder cancers, the cancer cells show a loss of part of the long arm of chromosome number 9.’
      • ‘The cream is applied to a skin cancer and given time to be absorbed by the malignant cells.’
      • ‘As with many cancers, the best way to diagnose testicular cancer is with an operation.’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Domestic violence in America is on the rise and we need to be aware that it is a cancer in our society.’
      • ‘the financial services industry is like a cancer in our society.’
      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 this constellation.
      ‘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.
      • ‘I'm a Cancer, I hate avocados and most animals, and I'm in a band you've never heard of called The Like.’
      • ‘It's natural for Cancers to be cynics, but it's eating you up inside.’
      • ‘Traditionally, the caring professions attract sun-sign Cancers, but professions connected with the past also appeal greatly, as does cookery.’
      • ‘Unlike most Cancers, natives of this Sun-Moon sign do not feel the need to guard their emotions.’
      • ‘Cancers tend to attach themselves to physical objects for emotional healing.’

Phrases

Origin

Latin.

Pronunciation

Cancer

/ˈkansə/