NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Breast cancer cell. False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a single breast cancer cell, showing its uneven surface and cytoplasmic projections. Clumps of cancerous (malignant) cells form tumours, which possess the ability to invade & destroy surrounding tissues & travel to distant parts of the body to seed secondary tumours. Malignant cells proliferate & grow in a chaotic manner, with defective cell division retained within each new generation of cells. Variations also occur in size & structure, from close resemblance to original cell type (well differentiated) to complete undifferentiation.
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