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Cancer

  • By: Megan E. Luhr
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Cancer is a general term that describes many different diseases; however, the initial development of all cancers is the same. All cancers begin when abnormal cells grow out of control within an individual's body. Normal, healthy cells grow, divide, and then die. Cancer cells also grow and divide, but they do not die. Cancer cells outlive the normal cells, and the cancer cells continue to produce additional abnormal cells. Cancers develop as a result of damaged DNA (the carrier of genetic information) that cannot be repaired by the body. Individuals can inherit damaged DNA or an individual's DNA may become damaged from exposure to something in the environment such as smoke or the sun. Cancer frequently develops as a tumor, but there are some cancers, ...

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