The term cancer is used to describe several related diseases which result in the abnormal growth of cells within the human body. These abnormal cells can grow almost anywhere including the brain, breasts, lungs, pancreas, prostate, blood, bladder, colon and skin. Cancerous cells are able to divide and spread quickly, resulting in the buildup of solid masses known as tumors. The first cause of cancer was documented in 1775 when British surgeon Percivall Pott realized that certain tumors were prevalent among chimney sweeps.
Today, there are more than 100 different known types of cancer, and it is estimated that more than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with one form or another in 2015. Cancer claims the lives of approximately 600,000 people in the US each year. In 2012 there were an estimated 14.1 million new cases of cancer diagnosed (with 8 million deaths) in the world – this number is expected to increase to 24 million by 2035.