Definition of cancer noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    cancer

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈkænsə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkænsər//
     
    Ailments and diseases
     
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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 bowel/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 CollocationsIllnessesBecoming ill catch a cold/​an infectious disease/​the flu/(British English) flu/​pneumonia/​a virus/(informal) a bug get (British English) ill/(North American English) sick/​a disease/​AIDS/​breast cancer/​a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu/​a migraine come down with a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu contract a deadly disease/​a serious illness/​HIV/​AIDS be infected with a virus/​a parasite/​HIV develop cancer/​diabetes/​a rash/​an ulcer/​symptoms of hepatitis have a heart attack/​a stroke provoke/​trigger/​produce an allergic reaction block/​burst/​rupture a blood vessel damage/​sever a nerve/​an artery/​a tendonBeing ill feel (British English) ill/​sick/​nauseous/​queasy be running (British English) a temperature/(North American English) a fever have a head cold/​diabetes/​heart disease/​lung cancer/​a headache/(British English) a high temperature/(North American English) a fever suffer from asthma/​malnutrition/​frequent headaches/​bouts of depression/​a mental disorder be laid up with/ (British English) be in bed with a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu/​a migraine nurse a cold/​a headache/​a hangover battle/​fight cancer/​depression/​addiction/​alcoholismTreatments examine a patient diagnose a condition/​disease/​disorder be diagnosed with cancer/​diabetes/​schizophrenia prescribe/​be given/​be on/​take drugs/​medicine/​medication/​pills/​painkillers/​antibiotics treat somebody for cancer/​depression/​shock have/​undergo an examination/​an operation/​surgery/​a kidney transplant/​therapy/​chemotherapy/​treatment for cancer have/​be given an injection/(British English) a flu jab/(North American English) a flu shot/​a blood transfusion/​a scan/​an X-ray cure a disease/​an ailment/​cancer/​a headache/​a patient prevent the spread of disease/​further outbreaks/​damage to the lungs be vaccinated against the flu/(British English) flu/​the measles/(British English) measles/​polio/​smallpox enhance/​boost/​confer/​build immunity to a disease See related entries: Ailments and diseases
  2. 2[countable] (literary) an evil or dangerous thing that spreads quickly Violence is a cancer in our society.
  3. Word Origin Old English, from Latin, ‘crab or creeping ulcer’, translating Greek karkinos, said to have been applied to such tumours because the swollen veins around them resembled the limbs of a crab. canker was the usual form until the 17th cent. Compare with Cancer.Extra examples Childhood cancers have a very good survival rate. He died after an 18-month battle against cancer. Most of the women employees have now been screened for breast cancer. Prostate cancer deaths fell after screening was introduced. The cancer risk among smokers was found to be higher.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cancer

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