Georgia's Online Cancer Information Center

What is cancer?

American Association for Cancer Research

Cancer isn’t a single disease. The term cancer encompasses more than 200 diseases all characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of cells. Ignoring the body’s signal to stop, malignant cells multiply to form tumors in organs and tissues or, in the case of blood cancers, crowd out normal cells in the blood stream and bone marrow.

In a healthy body, cells grow and divide in a controlled, orderly fashion to replace those that have grown old or have been damaged and die by design in a process called apoptosis. Cancer occurs when these natural processes go awry.

When the genetic material of a cell – the DNA – is damaged, mutations can arise, potentially disrupting normal growth and division. An accumulation of mutations can turn normal cells into precancerous cells, which sometimes multiply and evolve into cancer cells. Cancer is a result of the accumulation of these cells.

Cancer is not an event, but a process that takes time, often years, to develop. The length of time varies widely and depends on the identity, order, and speed at which mutations accumulate.

The stage of cancer describes the progression of the disease in the body from precancer to cancer that has spread to distant organs or tissue – metastatic cancer.

Cancers are classified based on the organ or type of cell in which they originate:

  • Carcinomas are cancers that occur on the skin or tissues that line internal organs.
  • Sarcomas are cancers that occur in the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
  • Leukemias are cancers that occur in the cells of the blood and bone marrow.
  • Lymphomas are cancers that occur in the cells of the immune system and typically appear within the lymphatic system.
  • Central nervous system cancers are cancers that occur in the cells of the brain and spinal cord.

Media, News & Events

Compassion and Connection: A Meditation Series for Members of the Cancer Community

Beginning April 9 at 9am, you are invited to a weekly meditation and mindfulness series to amplify support and encouragement among the cancer care team.

 Media & Events 4/06/2020

GC3 Survivorship Advocacy Council looking for members

Every year cancer impacts the lives of thousands of Georgians. In fact, cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in our state. Whether coping with a diagnosis, undergoing treatment, providing oncology care, supporting a loved one or searching for a cure, there is support available for organizations and individuals through the Georgia Cancer Control Consortium (GC3)...

1/15/2020

Clinical Cancer Advances 2020 at a Glance

Clinical Cancer Advances 2020: ASCO’s Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer highlights the most important clinical research advances of the past year and identifies priority areas where ASCO believes research efforts should be focused moving forward.

 Media & Events 2/12/2020

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Georgia CORE

 

Advancing Cancer Care through Partnerships and Innovation

Georgia CORE is a public-private partnership that creates collaboration among the state’s cancer organizations and institutions to connect more Georgians to quality, personalized cancer care. We welcome you to this one-of-a-kind online information center for all things related to cancer and survivorship care in Georgia.