What Are Cancer Types?

The names of cancer types often include the parts of the body that they affect. A diagnosis of a type of cancer may include other information such as the stage of the cancer and possibly other characteristics.

The names of some cancer types make it easy for the general public to understand what part of the body that cancer type affects. Breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer, and kidney cancer are examples of cancer types that are easily understood.

The names of some other cancer types may not be as easy for a person to know what part of the body is affected. For example, leukemia is a cancer that often affects bone marrow. Melanoma is a cancer type that may start in a mole or other body tissue that contains pigment.

The common name of the cancer could be considered the name of a category of cancers, because each general type of cancer can actually have several types. For example, small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer are the two main types of lung cancer.

Some families have high rates of incidence of a specific cancer type. Cancer types can also develop by a carcinogen that contributes to the development of that cancer type. Many carcinogens only affect the development of one cancer type like smoking and lung cancer or sun exposure and skin cancer.

The most common type of cancer is nonmelanoma skin cancer. There are more than 1 million new cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer anticipated this year.

There are several different kinds of skin cancer. The skin Cancer types are named after the type of skin cell that they affect. Skin cancer is most common in the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

The indication of the stage of the cancer is another way to describe that type of cancer. Ranging from I to IV, the stage describes how severe the cancer is, how far it has progressed, and the general prognosis. Stage I is the least severe with the cancer typically restricted to a single tumor.

The cancer type can be further described by whether or not the cancer has affected the lymph nodes, how destructive the tumor is, and if the cancer has metastasized. Other information about the cancer may also be included in the description of the cancer type.

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