The name was cancer, according to Galen inspired by the similarity of the swollen veins of a cancer tumor with outer legs.
"... and chest we saw frequent tumors of the form of cancer were very similar. Just as the legs of the animal on both sides of the body are, so leave the veins of the tumor, which resembles in form the body of cancer. "
- Galen of Pergamum
Previously, Hippocrates used the term "cancer" is probably the first, when he discovered in the treatment of breast ulcer the similarity to the legs of a crustacean animal - in addition to the breast area to the zodiac sign of Cancer applied belonging (cf. Homo signorum). Aristotle called superficial cancer detectable in infiltrating neighboring organs and ingrowing tumors (such as skin cancer or advanced breast cancer).