How Does Cancer Begin?

Cancer develops when the body’s standard control mechanism stops working. Under healthy conditions, new cells form and replace old cells that wear out or have become damaged.

Cancer begins to form when old cells do not die and grow out of control, creating new, abnormal cells. These extra cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor. Some cancers, such as leukemia, do not form tumors.

As a cancerous tumor grows, the bloodstream or lymphatic system may carry cancer cells to other body parts. During this process, known as metastasis, the cancer cells grow and may develop into new tumors. The most common sites of metastasis are the bones, brain, liver, and lungs.

NFCR is Attacking Cancer Head-On

There’s a paradigm shift taking place. Research is moving from an organ-focused (type of cancer) approach to a gene-focused approach (cancer genomics).

This shift is already having a profound effect on the way cancer is treated and allows doctors to provide more individualized options for patients (also known as precision medicine).

NFCR has distinguished itself from other organizations by emphasizing long-term, transformative research and working to move people toward cancer genomics. NFCR’s support of laboratories and dozens of scientists over the past 50 years has helped make possible cancer treatments that are saving lives today and in the future.

Cancer is not just one disease, but rather a group of more than 100 different diseases that is caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body.

Cancer Types

Colorful Cancer Ribbons

Learn more about the various types of cancer and read about the latest cancer research breakthroughs and innovative cancer-fighting treatments.

Cancer-Fighting Lifestyle

Yoga and Meditation at sunset

Learn how a cancer-preventing diet and lifestyle changes can decrease your cancer risk, including cancer-fighting strategies such as exercise, stress reduction, and healthy foods.

Cancer Prevention Kit

Healthy living Tools

In this section, you will find tips to lower your risk of cancer and information on various screenings that help catch cancer at its earliest stages when it’s most treatable.

Cancer Screening Guidelines

Mammogram Cancer Screening

Early detection is crucial to improving cancer outcomes. Know when to be screened with these guidelines.

Patient Assistance Center

Smiling Doctor

The Research for a Cure Patient Hub provides clinical trial education and support for cancer patients and their families.

Cancer-Fighting Lifestyle Channel

Family Cooking Together

This Youtube Channel Series helps you start and stick with a healthy lifestyle to aid in cancer prevention.

COVID-19 Resource Center

Mother Daughter in Face Masks

Read our expert tips to help the cancer community stay informed, prepared, and protected.

Dialogue With Leading Oncologists

Virtual Health Appointment with Oncologist

This complimentary program connects cancer patients and caregivers with expert oncologists to discuss issues and solutions in the cancer community.

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