Main definitions of cancer in US English:

: cancer1Cancer2

cancer1

noun

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

    ‘he's got cancer’
    ‘smoking is the major cause of lung cancer’
    • ‘Despite the advances in treatment in recent years, cancer remains a distressing disease.’
    • ‘A large number of people with cancer overcome the disease and live fulfilled lives for many years.’
    • ‘Exercise does not just lower our chances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They have become the main providers of funding for research into cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘I gave up smoking because I didn't want to die prematurely of cancer or heart disease.’
    • ‘Other lung conditions such as lung cancer will need to be ruled out as part of the diagnosis.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The knowledge gained could cure cancer, prevent heart disease, and feed millions.’
    • ‘Members suffer from illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.’
    • ‘This may predispose people to conditions such as cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘The city is a regional centre for the treatment of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘Cases progress slowly resulting in chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis and cancer.’
    • ‘Diseases caused by aberrant gene expression include viral diseases and cancer.’
    • ‘As doctors we are all too aware of the natural causes of death, such as cancer and heart disease, the top killers.’
    • ‘Vital research will include finding new drugs to treat diseases such as cancer.’
    1. 1.1 A malignant growth or tumor resulting from the division of abnormal cells.
      ‘most skin cancers are curable’
      • ‘In almost all cancers, the cancer cells are found to have a mutation in one or more genes.’
      • ‘Because sunburn changes the skin's DNA, it has been linked to skin cancers.’
      • ‘Most stomach cancers form a tumour or an ulcer in the inner lining of the stomach.’
      • ‘Leukaemia is the name for a number of cancers of the white blood cells.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In almost all bladder cancers, the cancer cells show a loss of part of the long arm of chromosome number 9.’
      • ‘In particular, it is thought to cause mesothelioma, a cancer of the outer lining of the lung or the abdomen.’
      • ‘As with many cancers, the best way to diagnose testicular cancer is with an operation.’
      • ‘The experiment shows that not all cancers are destined to become malignant.’
      • ‘Exercise can help reduce obesity, which is related to the cause of several cancers.’
      • ‘The single greatest cause of most skin cancers is excessive exposure to sunlight.’
      • ‘Lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that originate in the lymphatic system.’
      • ‘Some cancers present few if any symptoms and cause few problems and little to no pain.’
      • ‘The cream is applied to a skin cancer and given time to be absorbed by the malignant cells.’
      • ‘They will also ask if anyone in your family has had endometrial cancer or other related cancers.’
      • ‘Malignant tumours are the real cancers and they behave quite differently from benign tumours.’
      • ‘The growth of a cancer has a different path of development from that of the healthy body.’
      • ‘The goal of chemotherapy in people with early cancers is usually to kill the cancerous cells and to cure the condition.’
      • ‘Certain cancers and treatments are associated with specific fears.’
      • ‘Almost all oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas caused, in the majority of cases, by smoking and drinking.’
      malignant growth, cancerous growth, malignant tumour, tumour, malignancy
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A practice or phenomenon perceived to be evil or destructive and hard to contain or eradicate.
      ‘gambling is a cancer sweeping across the nation’
      • ‘Domestic violence in America is on the rise and we need to be aware that it is a cancer in our society.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Those people are a cancer in our society and they deserve to be in jail.’
      • ‘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 tumors 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

/ˈkansər//ˈkænsər/

Main definitions of cancer in US English:

: cancer1Cancer2

Cancer2

proper noun

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

    1. 1.1as genitive Cancri /ˈkaNGkrē/ 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 June 21).

    1. 2.1a Cancer A person born when the sun is in the sign of Cancer.
      • ‘Cancers tend to attach themselves to physical objects for emotional healing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's natural for Cancers to be cynics, but it's eating you up inside.’
      • ‘Unlike most Cancers, natives of this Sun-Moon sign do not feel the need to guard their emotions.’

Phrases

Origin

Latin.

Pronunciation

Cancer

/ˈkansər//ˈkænsər/