Cancer Basics

A senior husband and wife are sitting on a sofa.What Is Cancer?

Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. In a healthy body, these cells reproduce and die at a normal rate. However, cancer develops when abnormal cells begin to multiply too quickly. This unregulated proliferation can cause the cells to damage or invade other areas of the body, which is why cancer can cause serious health complications or even death. Cancer is a fairly broad term that refers to a group of more than 100 diseases.

How Common Is Cancer?

The American Cancer Society estimates that about half of men and one-third of women in the United States will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. Approximately 1,660,290 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2013, 118,320 of those in Florida. Cancer is currently the second most common cause of death in this country, second only to heart disease. About 1,600 people die of cancer each day. 

Categories of Cancer

Cancer can be broken down into five main categories:

  • Carcinoma – cancer that begins in the tissues of the skin
  • Central nervous system cancers – cancer that begins in the brain or spinal cord
  • Leukemia – cancer that begins in the blood or blood-forming tissues
  • Lymphoma and myeloma – cancer that beings in the lymph nodes and bone marrow, respectively
  • Sarcoma – cancer that begins in bone or muscle tissue

These categories can be further divided into more than 100 specific types of cancer. Learn more about the Types of Cancer, Signs and Symptoms of Cancer or get answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Oncology Services in the Tampa Bay Area

BayCare is proud to offer a wide range of oncology services to individuals throughout the Tampa Bay area. Call (855) 314-8346 for more information about all that BayCare has to offer for members of the community.

You can learn more by visiting the facilities listed below: