By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the most complicated words in medicine describes a process that has dramatic impact on our body. It’s called angiogenesis.

In simplest terms, angiogenesis is the formation and development of blood vessels. Angiogenesis occurs normally in adulthood during wound healing or restoring blood flow to injured tissues, but here is the major problem. An imbalance of the process can lead to disease.

For instance, in cancer, too much angiogenesis, or blood vessel growth, can feed the diseased tissue and destroy normal tissue. But in certain cases, not enough angiogenesis occurs, and the condition, such as coronary heart disease, this inadequate blood vessel growth can cause poor circulation and tissue death.

There is a great deal of money being spent on ways to better understand angiogenesis. The things we learn could revolutionize our lives.

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