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Why the name

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Why the name

Postby canan5000 » Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:42 am

I am curious and have done my fair share of digging but for the life of me cannot find an answer to why they call the unchecked proliferation of cells cancer. Most medical diseases are named for the discover, an acronym, or some latin derivation that gives a description of the condition. Why the name cancer?
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Postby biohazard » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:48 am

Apparently the word is of ancient origin, a latin translation from the greek word "carcinoma". Carcinoma originally meant any deep ulcer/sore that might've been malignant, as did it's latin counterpart. The word also means "crayfish" or "crab", as some might have guessed. But anyway, the etymology of the word "cancer" is very old, and most likely originally included many other (macroscopically similar) conditions in addition to the actual carcinoma. Anyway, the "word" cancer is a latin derivation like you kind of suspect in your post. At least this is how I think it is :)
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