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There is more information available on this subject at Cancer on the English Wikipedia.
Michael Baird: "What I'm saying is that I don't know what cancer is."
Medical technician: "Oh. I got you. Cancer's a kind of um… slow-burn, localized infection, kind of. But we haven't really seen a lot of it since… hmm, twenty-second century, according to this. Anyway, it's easy to treat, but you're going to have to have surgery."
Michael Baird and an unidentified medical technician[1]

Cancer, known scientifically as a Malignant neoplasm, is a group of diseases in which affected cells can display three of the following properties:

  • Uncontrollable cellular reproduction above normal rates (this forms a Malignant tumor);
  • Invasion and destruction of neighboring tissue; and sometimes
  • Metastasis, a state in which affected cells spread throughout the body through the blood.

Cancer ceased to be commonplace in the human genome by the 22nd century, though cases appeared from time to time as far as the 26th century. However, these could be treated easily by this time.[1]

At some time during the Human-Covenant War, Michael Baird was diagnosed with this disease onboard UNSC The Heart of Midlothian. At the time of his diagnosis, Baird was completely unaware of what cancer is, demonstrating how trivial the disease had become among the general population.[1] Despite this, Kat-B320's mother still died due to cancer in 2536,[2] though the circumstances of the death remain unknown.

The fictitious disease known as "Boren's Syndrome" supposedly caused severe cancer symptoms in victims, which required extensive treatment and chemotherapy (even with 26th century medical technology).

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