Types of Cancer

There are over 200 different types of cancer known to man. Understanding the different cancer types is important in understanding their diagnosis, management and prognosis.



Of the known cancer types, only ten percent of them are treatable with chemotherapy. The type of cancers called epithelial cancers like breast and certain skin cancers are more resistant to treatment.

Cancers types could be described in terms of the kind of cells from which the cancer arises, or based on the part of the body it exists in like skin cancer, or whether it is a childhood or adult cancer. All these different classes affects their behaviour, how they spread, treatment options and out come after treatment.

Cell Type

Carcinomas are cancers that originate from what is called epithelial cells. They make up over 85% of cancer types.

Epithelial cells are the types of cells that line the outside and inner walls of the body, like skin on the outside and include linings of the bowel, wind pipe, lungs, and urinary or genital tracts on the inside.

These lining cells divide regularly and are changed on daily basis. When there is error in the DNA that control cell division, cancer could occur in this cell type, causing carcinoma.

Examples of this kind of tumours are oral cancer, bowel or colon cancer, lung cancer, bronchial cancer or skin cancer to name a few.



They are a type of solid tumours. These types of cancer tend to spread through lymph more than other types.

Sarcomas are types of cancer arising from connective tissues like muscles, bones and cartilage.

They make up about 6% of cancer types. They tend to spread via blood stream more. They make up another group of solid state tumour.

LeukaemiaThese are cancers originating from the components of blood. They are non-solid tumours.

Those derived from the white blood cells called lymphocytes are referred to as lymphomas and those from plasma cells are called plasmacytoma or myeloma, depending on whether several or single sites are affected. They constitute 5% of cancer types.

Body Part Or Region Of Occurence

Cancer can occur in any part of the body. More common types of cancers are:


  • Adrenal Cancer


  • Anal Cancer


  • Bladder Cancer


  • Bowel Cancer


  • Brain Cancer


  • Breast Cancer


  • Cervical Cancer


  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia Cancer


  • Chronic myelocytic leukaemia Cancer


  • Colon Cancer


  • Endometrial Cancer


  • Ewing’s sarcoma Cancer


  • Esophagus Cancer


  • Fallopian tube Cancer


  • Gallbladder Cancer


  • Gastric Cancer


  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Cancer


  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma Cancer


  • Karposi sarcoma Cancer


  • Kidney Cancer


  • Laryngeal Cancer


  • Liver Cancer


  • Lung Cancer


  • Lymphomas


  • Melanoma Cancer


  • Mesothelioma Cancer


  • Myeloma Cancer


  • Neuroblastoma Cancer


  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma Cancer


  • Osteosarcoma Cancer


  • Ovarian Cancer


  • Cancer


  • Pancreatic Cancer


  • Parathyroid Cancer


  • Penile Cancer


  • Pituitary Cancer


  • Prostate Cancer


  • Retinoblastoma Cancer


  • Rhabdomyosarcoma Cancer


  • Small bowel Cancer


  • Testicular Cancer


  • Thymoma Cancer


  • Thyroid Cancer


  • Ureter Cancer


  • Urethral Cancer


  • Uterine Cancer


  • Vaginal Cancer


  • Vulva Cancer


This is by no means an exhaustive list of cancer types as they affect the various body parts. Let's see cancer types by

Childhood And Adult Cancers

Certain cancers can only be found in childhood, and include

  • Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Wilms Tumor
  • Burkitt Lymphoma
  • Retinoblastoma

Most types of cancer on the other hand are adult only cancers. This include cancer like rodent ulcer, or squamous cell carcinoma.

You can learn more about types of cancer and how to be cancer free from this ebook by Bill Henderson


More Resources on Cancer:









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