Invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood).
The branch of medicine concerned with the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer is oncology.
Cancer may affect people at all ages, but the risk for most varieties increases with age. Cancers can affect all animals too.
Nearly all cancers are caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of the transformed cells Template:Fact. These abnormalities may be due to the effects of carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke, radiation, chemicals, or infectious agents.
Other cancer-promoting genetic abnormalities may be randomly acquired through errors in DNA replication, or are inherited, and thus present in all cells from birth. The heritability of cancers are usually affected by complex interactions between carcinogens and the host's genome.
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