American English

Definition of cancer noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] a serious disease in which growths of cells, also called cancers, form in the body and kill normal body cells. The disease often causes death lung/breast cancer cancer of the colon/stomach Most skin cancers are completely curable. The cancer has spread to his stomach. Smokers face an increased risk of developing lung cancer. cancer patients cancer research
  2. 2[countable] (literary) an evil or dangerous thing that spreads quickly Violence is a cancer in our society.
adjective to become cancerous cancerous cells/growths/tumors
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: cancer

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