What is Cancer?
Cancer attacks cells in the body. Learning what happens to a normal cell when it becomes cancerous can help in understanding the disease.
The human body is made up of many different cells. Normal cells grow, divide and produce new cells when they are needed to help the body stay healthy. Sometimes cells continue dividing and producing even though the body does not need new cells. A growth or tumor is then produced by the extra mass of cell growth. A tumor can be either benign or malignant.
A benign tumor is not cancerous. Benign tumors are often removed and do not come back in most cases. Benign tumor cells do not spread to other parts of the body. Most importantly, a benign tumor is rarely life threatening.
A malignant tumor is cancerous. Malignant tumor cells are abnormal and continue to divide when the body does not need them. The cancer cells invade and destroy cells and tissue around them. Cancer cells may break away from a malignant tumor. They can enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This process is called metastasis. This is how cancer spreads from the original malignant tumor to form new tumors in other parts of the body.
For a physician referral, call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).
Cancer Resource Library
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it." – Samuel Johnson
The goal of the Cancer Resource Library is to provide information to help patients and families make informed decisions during difficult times. The library offers access to current information about cancer prevention, treatment and support. A professional medical librarian and volunteers are on hand to assist visitors. Books and videotapes may be used in the library or borrowed. Some materials can be mailed for those unable to get to the library and information is also available on other health topics.
The Cancer Resource Library is an American Cancer Society Information Center and is open to the public. All services are free.
Services and Resources:
- Library books and videotapes available for lending
- Anatomical models available to borrow for health fairs and classes
- Free pamphlets
- Research information on specific topics
- Computers with Internet access
- Comfortable area available for reading or viewing videotapes
- Support group information
- Referral for wigs and mastectomy supplies
- Recommended reading lists
- Information for parents with cancer
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Klabzuba Tower, First Floor
1300 West Terrell
Fort Worth, TX 76104
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
The Cancer Resource Library offers an Ask the Librarian program for individual assistance with your health-related questions. E-mail the librarian with questions or requests for information. Please include your name, address and telephone number in the message with a detailed explanation of the information needed.
Finding Reliable Information: The Internet offers access to many valuable sources of information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide current, accurate or complete information. We encourage you to be a smart consumer by critically evaluating the information you retrieve online. The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association maintains a list of the Top 100 health websites and provides guidelines to assist you in evaluating the quality of health information.
Resources and Links