Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells grow, divide, and spread. In most cancers, these abnormal cells form a mass called a tumor. (Not all tumors are cancer.) Cancers found in the blood or immune system do not form tumors. Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. But cancers can spread. They can invade nearby tissues and organs. Or, they can break away and spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is.
Millions of Americans are living with a diagnosis of cancer. But thanks to improved cancer screening and treatment, many people with cancer are able to beat the disease. Still, cancer and cancer treatment can have a big effect on your quality of life, day-to-day activities, work life, and relationships. Pain and fatigue are among the most disabling symptoms. Changes in appearance and abilities both from the cancer and its treatment, as well as feelings such as anger and fear, can affect emotional health. In fact depression affects one-third to one-half of all women diagnosed with cancer.
If you are going through cancer treatment or are a cancer survivor, get the support and medical care you need to take care of your physical and emotional health.
Early-stage Breast Cancer Treatment Fact Sheet - This fact sheet addresses questions that women commonly have about breast cancer and its treatment. It explains the two surgical options used to treat early-stage breast cancer and lists resources for patients seeking more information.
Lung Cancer Fact Sheet - This fact sheet answers frequently asked questions about lung cancer in women, including how common it is, whether nonsmokers can develop it, and a smoker's risk of developing it.
Breast Cancer (PDQ®) Treatment — Patients - This online publication provides a description of breast cancer, as well as the risk factors of breast cancer. It also describes tests and treatment options. Other sections include inflammatory breast cancer and recurrent breast cancer.
Depression (PDQ®) — Patients - This brief summary describes the causes and treatments of depression in patients with cancer. Also included are possible risk factors and how to prevent suicide in adults and children who have cancer.
Thinking About Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Guide for People With Cancer - This fact sheet introduces complementary and alternative therapies, explaining what they are and how they are used today. It explains how the National Institutes of Health evaluates alternative therapies and lists clinical trials for the study of alternative therapies. It also provides advice for patients on what to do when considering complementary and alternative therapies.