Lesson 1: What is Cancer?

Welcome to our Mini-Course: Essentials of Cancer Exercise.

We hope this can open a door for you that not only helps you grow your business with new clients but offers you the opportunity to specialize in a niche category that improves peoples lives.

Here is Lesson 1: What is Cancer?

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  • Lesson 1: What is Cancer
  • Lesson 2: Cancer Surgery
  • Lesson 3: Cancer Treatment
  • Lesson 4: Muscle Imbalances
  • Lesson 5: Range of Motion Limitations
  • Lesson 6: Understanding Lymphedema Exercises


The term “cancer” refers to a group of diseases in which abnormal (malignant) cells divide and form additional abnormal cells without any order or control. It is an umbrella term for over 200 different diseases.

In normal tissues, the rates of new cell growth and old cell death are kept in balance. In cancer this balance is disrupted. This disruption can result from uncontrolled cell growth or loss of a cells’ ability to undergo “apoptosis.”

“Apoptosis,” or “cell suicide,” is the mechanism by which old or damaged cells normally self-destruct. The problem with these malignant cells is that they are unable to perform the functions that they were designed for: such as to replace worn-out cells or repair damaged cells, and they continue to grow and multiply without constraint.

The normal cells do not respond appropriately to the body’s signals to divide only when needed and to stop when the need is fulfilled. In other words, these cells can be thought of as taking on a life of their own. The gradual increase in the number of growing cells creates a growing mass of tissue called a “tumor,” or “neoplasm.”

If the rate of cell division is relatively rapid, and no “suicide” signals are in place to trigger cell death, the tumor will grow quickly in size; if the cells divide more slowly, tumor growth with be slower. Regardless of the growth rate, tumors ultimately increase in size because new cells are being produced in greater numbers than needed. The cells can invade and destroy healthy tissue and can spread and grow in other areas of the body through two mechanisms: invasion and metastasis.

Invasion refers to the direct migration and penetration by cancer cells into neighboring tissues.

Metastasis refers to the ability of cancer cells to penetrate into lymphatic and blood vessels, circulate through the bloodstream, and then invade normal tissues elsewhere in the body.

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