Main meanings of cancer in English

: cancer1Cancer2


Pronunciation /ˈkansə/

See synonyms for cancer

Translate cancer into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1A disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body.

    ‘he's got cancer’
    • ‘lung cancer’
    • ‘Members suffer from illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.’
    • ‘Denos died last Wednesday after a long battle against cancer and the lung disease emphysema.’
    • ‘This may predispose people to conditions such as cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘As doctors we are all too aware of the natural causes of death, such as cancer and heart disease, the top killers.’
    • ‘Consider why the patient has consulted; many are worried about heart disease or cancer.’
    • ‘Other lung conditions such as lung cancer will need to be ruled out as part of the diagnosis.’
    • ‘Cases progress slowly resulting in chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis and cancer.’
    • ‘Exercise does not just lower our chances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.’
    • ‘Some of those volunteers will develop cancer, heart disease or mental illness.’
    • ‘Diseases caused by aberrant gene expression include viral diseases and cancer.’
    • ‘Stopping smoking can help to slow the progress of the condition and help to reduce the chances of lung cancer.’
    • ‘The city is a regional centre for the treatment of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.’
    • ‘Despite the advances in treatment in recent years, cancer remains a distressing disease.’
    • ‘A large number of people with cancer overcome the disease and live fulfilled lives for many years.’
    • ‘Pesticides have also been associated with a series of other diseases, including cancer.’
    • ‘The knowledge gained could cure cancer, prevent heart disease, and feed millions.’
    • ‘The biggest killer of children last year was not cancer or natural diseases but road accidents.’
    • ‘I gave up smoking because I didn't want to die prematurely of cancer or heart disease.’
    • ‘Vital research will include finding new drugs to treat diseases such as cancer.’
    • ‘They have become the main providers of funding for research into cancer and heart disease.’
    1. 1.1count noun A malignant growth or tumour resulting from an uncontrolled division of cells.
      ‘most skin cancers are curable’
      • ‘Most stomach cancers form a tumour or an ulcer in the inner lining of the stomach.’
      • ‘In almost all bladder cancers, the cancer cells show a loss of part of the long arm of chromosome number 9.’
      • ‘In almost all cancers, the cancer cells are found to have a mutation in one or more genes.’
      • ‘Almost all oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas caused, in the majority of cases, by smoking and drinking.’
      • ‘Malignant tumours are the real cancers and they behave quite differently from benign tumours.’
      • ‘Skin cancers are the most common form of cancer in the West, particularly in people such as farmers who are exposed to lots of sunlight.’
      • ‘The single greatest cause of most skin cancers is excessive exposure to sunlight.’
      • ‘Because sunburn changes the skin's DNA, it has been linked to skin cancers.’
      • ‘The cream is applied to a skin cancer and given time to be absorbed by the malignant cells.’
      • ‘The goal of chemotherapy in people with early cancers is usually to kill the cancerous cells and to cure the condition.’
      • ‘Leukaemia is the name for a number of cancers of the white blood cells.’
      • ‘The experiment shows that not all cancers are destined to become malignant.’
      • ‘Lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that originate in the lymphatic system.’
      • ‘They will also ask if anyone in your family has had endometrial cancer or other related cancers.’
      • ‘The growth of a cancer has a different path of development from that of the healthy body.’
      • ‘As with many cancers, the best way to diagnose testicular cancer is with an operation.’
      • ‘Some cancers present few if any symptoms and cause few problems and little to no pain.’
      • ‘In particular, it is thought to cause mesothelioma, a cancer of the outer lining of the lung or the abdomen.’
      • ‘Certain cancers and treatments are associated with specific fears.’
      • ‘Exercise can help reduce obesity, which is related to the cause of several cancers.’
      malignant growth, cancerous growth, malignant tumour, tumour, malignancy, met
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2count noun An evil or destructive practice or phenomenon that is hard to contain or eradicate.
      ‘gambling is a cancer sweeping across the nation’
      • ‘Depression is a cancer of the soul, it eats away at the core of who you are and replaces it with doubt and pain and fear.’
      • ‘Those people are a cancer in our society and they deserve to be in jail.’
      • ‘the financial services industry is like a cancer in our society.’
      • ‘People need to devise their own ways of controlling and correcting their youth lest they become the cancer of the community.’
      • ‘Domestic violence in America is on the rise and we need to be aware that it is a cancer in our society.’
      evil, blight, scourge, poison, canker, sickness, disease, pestilence, plague
      View synonyms


Old English, from Latin, ‘crab or creeping ulcer’, translating Greek karkinos, said to have been applied to such tumours because the swollen veins around them resembled the limbs of a crab. canker was the usual form until the 17th century Compare with Cancer.

Main meanings of Cancer in English

: cancer1Cancer2


Pronunciation /ˈkansə/

See synonyms for Cancer

Translate Cancer into Spanish

proper noun

  • 1Astronomy
    A constellation (the Crab), said to represent a crab crushed under the foot of Hercules. It contains the globular star cluster of Praesepe or the Beehive.

  • 2Astrology
    The fourth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters at the northern summer solstice (about 21 June).


a Cancer
  • A person born when the sun is in the sign of Cancer.

    ‘Traditionally, the caring professions attract sun-sign Cancers, but professions connected with the past also appeal greatly, as does cookery.’
    • ‘I'm a Cancer, I hate avocados and most animals, and I'm in a band you've never heard of called The Like.’
    • ‘Unlike most Cancers, natives of this Sun-Moon sign do not feel the need to guard their emotions.’
    • ‘Cancers tend to attach themselves to physical objects for emotional healing.’
    • ‘It's natural for Cancers to be cynics, but it's eating you up inside.’


(also Cancri)
  • postpositive Used with preceding Greek letter or numeral to designate a star in the constellation Cancer.

    • ‘the star Delta Cancri’


Latin. Cancri is the Latin genitive form of Cancer.