The basic unit from which all living organisms are built up, consisting of a cell membrane surrounding cytoplasm and a nucleus.
The process by which a parent cell divides into two daughter cells
A swelling made up of a mass of abnormal cells which keep multiplying in an uncontrolled way.
Division of a cell nucleus which results in each daughter cell having the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell.
Cancer that has spread to a new site in the body via blood or lymph vessels
A list of often difficult or specialised words with their definitions.
A short piece of DNA which is responsible for the inheritance of a particular characteristic. It codes for the production of a specific protein. Genes occupy a fixed position, called a locus, on a particular DNA molecule.
Deoxyribonucleic acid. This is the molecule which contains the genetic code. It coils up tightly inside chromosomes. DNA is a double helix made from two strands which are joined together by pairs of bases.
A mass of abnormal cells which keep multiplying in an uncontrolled way.
Cancer is a disease that originates in our own cells. A change in the DNA causes a special gene called an oncogene to be switched on. This leads to uncontrollable cell reproduction by mitosis. This is a cancer.
Cancer cells are able to replicate by overcoming the normal controls of cell division. They may form a lump or tumour which can cause damage to surrounding tissues and organs. Cancer cells may spread from the original (primary) tumour to form new (secondary) tumours throughout the body. When this happens the tumour is said to have metastasized.
This resource looks at how cancer cells develop, the causes of cancer and how treatments are used to tackle cancer.
There are a number of interactive features in this e-source: