Patients & Families

Why University of Colorado Cancer Center?

As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, CU Cancer Center has the most specialized oncologists, surgeons, and radiologists working with the most extensive support teams and the most advanced treatments and technologies in the state of Colorado, with programs for many cancer types attracting patients from around the world. With less complicated or early-stage cancers, our expertise may help patients maintain a better quality of life during treatment, with a more complete long-term recovery. At the other end of the cancer care spectrum, CU Cancer Center is able to offer innovative options for patients with more advanced or complicated cancers, often years before these options become available outside the setting of academic medicine.

About Cancer

Cancer describes a family of diseases in which the cells of your body “break” in ways that let them grow, survive, and spread faster than they should. Typically, these malfunctions are genetic mutations or other genetic changes -- somehow a cell’s DNA becomes damaged, and this damaged DNA changes how the cell operates. Instead of doing the things cells should do, cancer cells just grow. When a population of cancer cells (called a tumor) gets large enough, and depending on where a tumor grows, it can block important body functions, or can push out healthy cells, compromising the body’s function.

Cancer is not one disease. There are many kinds of cancer, caused by many kinds of genetic malfunctions. Some cancers are easily corrected. Some cancers are not. Some cancers may not even require treatment, while others may be beyond our current ability to treat. Because cancers are so unique and every patient brings different life circumstances and goals, no two patients will have the same cancer journey.

cancer cell