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malignancy (muh-LIG-nun-see)

A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby
tissues. Malignant cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph
systems. There are several main types of malignancy. Carcinoma is a malignancy that begins in
the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Sarcoma is a malignancy that begins in
bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Leukemia
is a malignancy that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, and causes large
numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood. Lymphoma and multiple
myeloma are malignancies that begin in the cells of the immune system. Central nervous system cancers are malignancies that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Also called cancer.

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