Etymology
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chancre (n.)

also chanker, "venereal ulcer, syphilitic sore," c. 1600, from French chancre (15c.), literally "cancer," from Latin cancer (see cancer).

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chancroid (adj.)

"resembling a chancre," 1868, from chancre + -oid. Earlier as a noun, a kind of genital ulcer (1861).

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*kar- 

also *ker-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "hard."

It forms all or part of: -ard; Bernard; cancer; canker; carcinogen; carcinoma; careen; chancre; -cracy; Gerard; hard; hardly; hardy; Leonard; Richard; standard.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit karkatah "crab," karkarah "hard;" Greek kratos "strength," kratys "strong;" "hard;" Old English heard, German hart "solid and firm, not soft."

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canker (n.)
late Old English cancer "spreading ulcer, cancerous tumor," from Latin cancer "malignant tumor," literally "crab" (see cancer, which is its doublet). The form was influenced in Middle English by Old North French cancre "canker, sore, abscess" (Old French chancre, Modern French chancre).

The word was the common one for "cancer" until c. 1700, but since the reintroduction of cancer in a more scientific sense it has tended to be restricted to gangrenous sores of the mouth. Also used since 15c. of caterpillars and insect larvae that eat plant buds and leaves. As a verb, "to corrode, corrupt," from late 14c. Related: Cankered; cankerous.
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