Category Archives: Types of Cancer

There are more than 100 types of cancer. Types of cancer are usually referred to as organs or tissues where cancers form. For example, lung cancer begins in the lung cells, and brain cancer begins in the brain cells. Cancers can also be described by the type of cell that formed them, such as an epithelial cell or a squamous cell.

You can search the NCI website for information about specific types of cancer based on the location of cancer in the body or by using our Cancer List AZ. We also have collections of information on cancers and childhood cancers in adolescents and young adults.

Here are some categories of cancers that begin with specific types of cells:

Carcinoma

Carcinomas are the most common type of cancer. They are made up of epithelial cells, which are the cells that cover the inner and outer surfaces of the body. There are many types of epithelial cells, which often have a column shape when viewed under a microscope.

Carcinomas that begin in different types of epithelial cells have specific names:

Adenocarcinoma is a cancer that forms in epithelial cells that produce fluids or mucus. Tissues with this type of epithelial cells are sometimes referred to as glandular tissues. Most cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate are adenocarcinomas.

Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the lower or basal layer (base) of the epidermis, which is the outer layer of a person’s skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma is a cancer that forms in squamous cells, which are epithelial cells that lie just below the outer surface of the skin. Squamous cells also cover many other organs, including the stomach, intestines, lungs, bladder, and kidneys. Squamous cells appear flat, like fish scales, when viewed under a microscope. Squamous cell carcinomas are sometimes referred to as epidermoid carcinomas.

Transitional cell carcinoma is a cancer that forms in a type of epithelial tissue called transitional epithelium or urothelium. This tissue, which is composed of many layers of epithelial cells that may become larger and smaller, is found in the lining of the bladder, ureters and part of the kidneys (renal pelvis) and some other organs. Some cancers of the bladder, ureters, and kidneys are transitional cell carcinomas.

Sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcoma; Drawing shows different types of tissue in the body where soft tissue sarcomas, including lymphatic vessels, blood vessels, fat, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and nerves are formed.ENLARGE
Soft tissue sarcoma forms in the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, and tissue around the joints.
Sarcomas are cancers that form in bones and soft tissues, including muscle, fat, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and fibrous tissue (such as tendons and ligaments).

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer. The most common types of soft tissue sarcoma are leiomyosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, liposarcoma, and protruding dermatofibrosarcoma.

Our page on soft tissue sarcoma has more information.

Leukemia

Cancers that begin in the blood-forming tissue of the bone marrow are called leukemias. These cancers do not form solid tumors. Instead, large numbers of abnormal white blood cells (leukemia cells and leukemic blast cells) accumulate in the blood and bone marrow, ejecting normal blood cells. The low level of normal blood cells can make it harder for the body to get oxygen to its tissues, control bleeding, or fight infections.

There are four common types of leukemia, which are grouped according to how quickly the disease (acute or chronic) worsens and the type of blood cell in which cancer begins (lymphoblastic or myeloid).

Our page on leukemia has more information.

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer that begins in lymphocytes (T cells or B cells). These are the white blood cells that are part of the immune system. In lymphoma, abnormal lymphocytes accumulate in lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels, as well as in other organs of the body.

There are two main types of lymphoma:

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – People with this disease have abnormal lymphocytes called Reed-Sternberg cells. These cells are generally formed from B cells.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – This is a large group of cancers that begin on lymphocytes. Cancers can grow quickly or slowly.

Sarcoma

The types of soft tissue sarcoma include fibrosarcoma, liposarcoma, leiomyosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma. Types of osteosarcoma include osteosarcoma and chondrosarcoma. With sarcomas accounting for less than 1% of new cases of cancer, sarcomas are very rare. Causes and Symptoms of Sarcoma Radiation is the most common risk factor for sarcomas. Other known risk factors for sarcomas… Read More »

Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma To understand why asbestos causes cancer and to understand how to treat mesothelioma it is necessary to understand what causes cancer. Study this article carefully so you understand the problems you have to deal with, and then come back to this article for specific advice on mesothelioma treatment (if you do not read this… Read More »

Skin Cancer and Vitamin C

  Vitamin C Vitamin C When vitamin C comes into contact with a skin cancer or an external tumor (eg, basal cell carcinoma), it hardens the tumor and forms a crust, so that the crust falls in 2 weeks or more, depending on the Size of the tumor and how aggressive it is obtained with… Read More »