A cancerous (malignant) tumour is a collection of many abnormal cells, most of which divide uncontrollably. Cancerous tumours infiltrate neighbouring tissues by forcing their way between normal cells and can spread to distant body parts through blood or lymph vessels. Cancerous cells are extremely irregular in shape and size and often bear little resemblance to the cells from which they arose. This characteristic irregular appearance of cancerous cells is often used to help diagnose cancer.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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