Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases, and there are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.

There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body:

  1. Through tissue. Cancer invades the surrounding normal tissue.
  2. Through the lymph system. Cancer invades the lymph system and travels through the lymph vessels to other places in the body.
  3. Through the blood. Cancer invades the veins and capillaries and travels through the blood to other places in the body.