Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: ILLNESS AND DISABILITY

Date: 1600-1700
Language: Latin
Origin: 'crab, cancer'

cancer

noun
     
can‧cer S2 W2
1MI [uncountable and countable] a very serious disease in which cells in one part of the body start to grow in a way that is not normal [↪ tumour]:
A lot of cancers can now be treated successfully.
lung/breast/stomach etc cancer
Smoking causes lung cancer.
She was told last year that she had cancer.
He died of cancer last month.
cancer of
cancer of the womb
a new treatment which effectively kills cancer cells
2 [countable] an evil influence that affects a lot of people and is difficult to stop:
Drug abuse is the cancer of our society.
cancerous adjective:
a cancerous growth
cancerous cells
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