What is Cancer?

    A Brief Description

    Our bodies are made up of trillions of tiny building blocks called cells. There are hundreds of different types of cells, each performing a specific task. While these cells may look different from each other and have different job descriptions they all have one thing in common – they all divide, multiply and eventually die and reproduce in an orderly manner.

    However, sometimes this order is disrupted by abnormal cells that begin to divide, multiply, die and reproduce without any order or control. When this happens cancer can develop.

    There are many different types of cancer. The name given to a type of cancer depends on where in the body it forms e.g. leukemias develop in the blood, lymphomas in the lymphatic system etc.

    Sometimes but not always a tumor (which is a another word for lump) is formed. A tumor is described as malignant if it is cancerous.

    One question we are often asked is - how much cancer is there in Cayman?  The Cancer Society supports research which will help us answer that question one day.  Registering every incidence of cancer in your family helps provide the Cayman Islands with information needed to improve treatment for patients, target prevention efforts, and develop further research needed.  Visit the Cancer Registry page for more information.

    Whole body cancers











    Image from National Foundation for Cancer Research website. Visit NFCR.org for full interactive image.