What does cancer mean?

Definitions for cancer
ˈkæn sər; ˈkæŋ krican·cer

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word cancer.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cancer, malignant neoplastic disease(noun)

    any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream

  2. Cancer, Crab(noun)

    (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Cancer

  3. Cancer(noun)

    a small zodiacal constellation in the northern hemisphere; between Leo and Gemini

  4. Cancer, Cancer the Crab, Crab(noun)

    the fourth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about June 21 to July 22

  5. Cancer, genus Cancer(noun)

    type genus of the family Cancridae


  1. cancer(Noun)

    A disease in which the cells of a tissue undergo uncontrolled (and often rapid) proliferation.

  2. Cancer(Noun)

    Someone with a Cancer star sign

  3. Cancer(ProperNoun)

    A constellation of the zodiac supposedly shaped like a crab.

  4. Cancer(ProperNoun)

    The zodiac sign for the crab, ruled by the Moon and covering June 22 - July 22.

  5. Origin: From cancer, from καρκίνος; applied to cancerous tumors because the enlarged veins resembled the legs of a crab.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cancer(noun)

    a genus of decapod Crustacea, including some of the most common shore crabs of Europe and North America, as the rock crab, Jonah crab, etc. See Crab

  2. Cancer(noun)

    the fourth of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The first point is the northern limit of the sun's course in summer; hence, the sign of the summer solstice. See Tropic

  3. Cancer(noun)

    a northern constellation between Gemini and Leo

  4. Cancer(noun)

    formerly, any malignant growth, esp. one attended with great pain and ulceration, with cachexia and progressive emaciation. It was so called, perhaps, from the great veins which surround it, compared by the ancients to the claws of a crab. The term is now restricted to such a growth made up of aggregations of epithelial cells, either without support or embedded in the meshes of a trabecular framework

  5. Origin: [L. cancer, cancri, crab, ulcer, a sign of the zodiac; akin to Gr. karki`nos, Skr. karkaa crab, and prob. Skr. karkara hard, the crab being named from its hard shell. Cf. Canner, Chancre.]


  1. Cancer

    Cancer, known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a broad group of various diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. Not all tumors are cancerous. Benign tumors do not grow uncontrollably, do not invade neighboring tissues, and do not spread throughout the body. There are over 200 different known cancers that afflict humans. Determining what causes cancer is complex. Many things are known to increase the risk of cancer, including tobacco use, certain infections, radiation, lack of physical activity, obesity, and environmental pollutants. These can directly damage genes or combine with existing genetic faults within cells to cause the disease. Approximately five to ten percent of cancers are entirely hereditary. Cancer can be detected in a number of ways, including the presence of certain signs and symptoms, screening tests, or medical imaging. Once a possible cancer is detected it is diagnosed by microscopic examination of a tissue sample. Cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. The chances of surviving the disease vary greatly by the type and location of the cancer and the extent of disease at the start of treatment. While cancer can affect people of all ages, and a few types of cancer are more common in children, the risk of developing cancer generally increases with age. In 2007, cancer caused about 13% of all human deaths worldwide. Rates are rising as more people live to an old age and as mass lifestyle changes occur in the developing world.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cancer

    kan′sėr, n. the name for an important group of malignant tumours, divided into two groups, Carcinomata and Sarcomata, the name being now strictly used only of the former: a constellation between Gemini and Leo, and a sign of the zodiac showing the limits of the sun's course northward in summer: the typical genus of the family Cancridæv.i. Cancer′ate, to become cancerous.—ns. Cancerā′tion; Can′cerite, a petrified crab.—adj. Can′cerous, of or like a cancer.—adv. Can′cerously.—n. Can′cerousness.—adjs. Can′criform, Can′croid, crab-like. [L. cancer; cog. with Gr. karkinos, a crab.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. cancer

    The Crab; the fourth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters about the 21st of June, and commences the summer solstice.

Editors Contribution

  1. cancer

    The name given to one of the parallel lines of latitude north of the equator.

    The tropic of cancer is a parallel line of latitude north of the equator.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 11, 2016  

Suggested Resources

  1. cancer

    The cancer symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the cancer symbol and its characteristic.

  2. cancer

    Song lyrics by cancer -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by cancer on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cancer' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2450

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cancer' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3024

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cancer' in Nouns Frequency: #977

How to pronounce cancer?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say cancer in sign language?

  1. cancer


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cancer in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cancer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of cancer in a Sentence

  1. Eddy M Reyes:

    Fear is worse than Cancer.

  2. Luis Moreno:

    It's a cancer in the society.

  3. Mary Sullivan:

    My cancer was pretty aggressive.

  4. John Stoll:

    No more cancer, he went through six years.

  5. Paul Chaplin as chief executive:

    We're actually talking about curing cancer.

Images & Illustrations of cancer

  1. cancercancercancercancercancer

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for cancer

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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