Carcinoma: These cancers originate in tissues which either cover surfaces or line internal organs. Carcinomas account for 80 to 90 percent of all cancer cases. Carcinomas are divided into two major subtypes: adenocarcinoma, which develops in an organ or gland, and squamous cell carcinoma, which originates in the epithelium (surface layer of cells), often the skin.
Examples of carcinomas include cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, intestine, skin, pancreas, liver, kidneys, colon, pancreas, and bladder; ovarian cancers, epithelial, squamous and basal cell carcinomas, melanomas, papillomas, and adenomas.
Sarcoma: These cancers originate in connective tissue, appearing in bones, muscles, fat, cartilage, nerves, tendons, and joints, mostly of the arms or legs. These are considered to be the rarest and most deadly forms of cancer. There are more than 50 types of sarcomas, belonging to two main classes – bone sarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma.
Sarcoma includes cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue -- "bone, soft tissue cancers," osteosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, liposarcoma, angiosarcoma, rhabdosarcoma, and fibrosarcoma.
Leukemias: These are cancers of the blood. They manifest as overproduction of white blood cells and not as solid tumors. Leukemias originate in the tissues of the bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes.
There are four main types of leukemia, grouped by how fast the disease gets worse and what kind of white blood cell it affects. While acute leukemia progresses very quickly, chronic leukemia gets worse slowly and may not cause symptoms for years. Leukemias are further classified as lymphocytic or myelogenous. Lymphocytic leukemia affects white blood cells called lymphocytes. Myelogenous leukemia affects other types of cells like red blood cells or platelets.
This cancer starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood -- "leukemia," lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL and CLL), myelogenous leukemias (AML and CML), T-cell leukemia, and hairy-cell leukemia.
Lymphoma and Myeloma: Cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system -- "lymphoma," T-cell lymphomas, B-cell lymphomas, Hodgkin lymphomas, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and lymphoproliferative lymphomas.
Myelomas are produced in the plasma cells of bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones. Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease-fighting and infection-fighting antibodies. Myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies, leaving the immune system weakened. The multiplication of myeloma cells also interferes with normal production and function of red and white blood cells and can cause bone destruction, leading to bone pain and/or fractures. Because myeloma frequently occurs at many sites in the bone marrow, it is often referred to as multiple myeloma.
Lymphomas are cancers of the white blood cells of the lymphatic system. The two most prevalent types are Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The latter group includes common B-cell lymphoma (originating in the B-cells) and the rarer T-cell lymphoma (originating in the T-cells). Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are also classed as indolent or aggressive, depending on how rapidly they are growing.
Central Nervous System Cancers: Cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord -- "brain and spinal cord tumors," gliomas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, vestibular schwannomas, primary CNS lymphomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors.
Not included in the above types listed are metastatic cancers; this is because metastatic cancer cells usually arise from a cell type listed above and the major difference from the above types is that these cells are now present in a tissue from which the cancer cells did not originally develop.
Consequently, if the terms "metastatic cancer" is used, for accuracy, the tissue from which the cancer cells arose should be included. For example, a patient may say they have or are diagnosed with "metastatic cancer" but the more accurate statement is "metastatic (breast, lung, colon, or other type) cancer which spread to the organ in which it has been found."
Another example is the following: A doctor describing a man whose prostate cancer has spread to his bones should say the man has metastatic prostate cancer to bone. This is not "bone cancer," which would be cancer that started in the bone cells. Metastatic prostate cancer to bone is treated differently than lung cancer to bone.
From the point of view of conventional oncology, it is very important to confirm the exact diagnosis and identify the specific cell type and cancer stage in order to determine the appropriate treatment protocol. However, often much precious time is spent sending specimens to laboratories, receiving conflicting or confusing diagnostic results, and getting several treatment opinions from specialists in one type of cancer or another.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, but your doctors are spending a lot of time trying to figure out what to do, you can be proactive by beginning to do your own research and begin changing your diet.
List of Cancer Types
Types of Cancer
Note: Cancer.Net offers individualized guides for more than 120 types of cancer and related hereditary syndromes. Each guide provides comprehensive, oncologist-approved information on: Overview, Medical Illustrations, Risk Factors, Prevention, Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis, Stages, Treatment Options, About Clinical Trials, Coping with Side Effects, After Treatment, Latest Research, Questions to Ask the Doctor, and Additional Resources
|The 10 Most Common Cancers in the U.S.|