Types of Cancer – Why We All Need Awareness About It

types of cancer

Cancer occurs when cells begin to develop abnormally and eventually spread to different tissues of the body. The latest report from Cancer Research UK has suggested that the types of cancer can exceed 200 by number.

Moreover, cancer cases in 2018 have been around 17 million worldwide with 9.6 million finding deaths by this year. This report further elaborates that 33% of the cancer cases are due to smoking habits.

These statistics are proofs that people are still not aware of the risk factors, causes, and symptoms of this deadly disease.

So, here is an article that will help you understand the different types of cancer.

What you need to know about cancer

For a healthy body, cells are active and have different lifecycles that differ with their location. But cancer disrupts this cycle and draws in abnormal cell growth through DNA mutation.

As a result, uncontrollable cell growth takes place and these additional cells give rise to tumors. This can be a precursor to some of the rare types of cancer. These tumors may be cancerous but if they are benign (or non-cancerous) they do not attack nearby tissues.

At times, the cancerous cells traverse through bloodstreams and lymphatic systems for reaching distant parts of the body. These advanced forms are usually untreatable and hence fatal.

What are the different types of cancer?

Prior to beginning the treatments for cancer, it is important to know what types of cancer the patient has. The variation in the forms of cancer is studied based on two factors: body area where it started and the type of cells in which it developed.

In most cases, cancer receives nomenclatures based on the organs they attack. Also, the type of body area or cells also adds to the factors. Very specifically, taking an instance of cancer that develops in the lungs and gradually spreads towards the liver gets its name as lung cancer.

For some of the generalized forms of cancer, clinical terms are also used to address them. The examples are many:

  • Sarcoma: This type of cancer is linked to the connective tissues like those of bones, blood vessels, muscles, and cartilage.
  • Leukemia: It is the cancer of bone marrow leading to blood cells.
  • Carcinoma: These worst types of cancer begin from the skin or its underlying tissues that form a lining over other organs.
  • Lymphoma, as well as myeloma, leads to cancers of the immune system.

So, here goes a list of some of the most commonly occurring cancers:

1. Oral or Oropharyngeal Cancer

Cancer in the oral cavity and the oropharynx cancer is a common occurring classification of cancer in the head or neck region.

Patients experience mouth and lip sores, lumps in the lining of the mouth, neck or throat and cheeks. Patients feel constant pain in the jaws, mouth, and ears along with numbness of mouth and tongue.

Also, fatigue, weight loss, bad breath, change in voice, bleeding mouth and gums, along with difficulty in chewing or swallowing food.

Diagnostic methods include endoscopy, X-Ray, CT, PER and MRI scans. Early detection cures the disease by surgeries and chemo, radiation and targeted therapies.

2. Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is reportedly the most common among all types of cancer in men. It mostly affects older people as 90% of the patients suffering from this form of cancer are above the age of 55 years. Additionally, this occurs 4 times more in men than in women.

Bladder cancer specifically is of three types such as:

  • Urothelial carcinoma: 90% of the bladder cancer is UCC which is often the later stage of kidney cancer. It develops in the urothelial cells and further advances into the urinary tract.
  • Adenocarcinoma: This is the rare kind of bladder cancer that begins in the glandular cells.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: The cancerous cells develop in the bladder lining causing inflammation and persistent irritation.
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3. Melanoma skin cancer

Melanoma of the skin is also common among all types of cancer in men compared to women. Its symptoms range from the formation of new mole or lumps or changes in the size of a mole.

You can go for self-screening in case you have a family history. Surgeries are applicable for early melanoma whereas chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immune therapy are also practiced. Men can reduce the effect of this cancer by avoiding excess sun exposure and using sunscreens.

4. Colorectal cancer

It is also known as bowel cancer or rectal cancer that leads to the development of cancerous cells in the colon and the rectum. Colorectal cancers are common types of cancer in men that begin in the rectum or colon. It gradually spread to the different parts of the body.

The early signs consist of rectal bleeding with stool, abdominal discomfort and persistent change in bowel movement. Treatment for these diseases is similar to generalized cancer treatments like chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiations and surgery. To prevent the chances of colorectal cancer, screening post the age of 50 years, especially for men is a requirement.

Apart from this, you can reduce the risk of its occurrence by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol.

5. Prostate cancer

This type of cancer is the most common form occurring in men with symptoms appearing at the later stages of the disease. This includes leaking urine, bone pain, and bloody urine.

Screening of prostate cancer is done through blood tests like the PSA test. Doctors recommend screening post the age of 50 along with the digital rectal test.

Treatment methods mostly depend on age and the severity inclusive of surgeries, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Race, age, and family history are some of the risk factors for this type of cancer.

6. Bone cancer

Bone cancers are the rare types of cancer that cause pain and inflammation in the bones whether the tumor develops. Among all the symptoms, pain is the most prevalent symptom of bone cancer.

It usually affects the long bones in the body like arms or legs. Symptoms sometimes mimic those of arthritis or osteoporosis.

Causes of bone cancer are still unknown but genetic factors rule the occurrence. A diagnostic test to detect the disease includes CT or PET scans.

Treatments include surgery if the location of the tumor is suitable, additionally; chemotherapy, immune therapy, and radiation therapy are common.

7. Lung cancer

Among all the different types of cancer occurring among people, this ranks the highest. Symptoms like coughs with blood, chest pain, short breaths, hoarseness, and noisy breathing follow. This cancer is diagnosed by examining the lungs using a fiber-optic telescope, sputum samples for cancer cells and CT scans.

The people above the age of 60 years with a history of smoking throughout their lives need to consult a doctor for undergoing screening tests.

Prognosis depends on the location of cell growth and treatment like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are given accordingly.

8. Breast cancer

This is the most commonly occurring types of cancer among women. The disease affects the breast cells and values them to mutate forming tumors or lumps. If it is left untreated it spreads to different parts of the body.

Modern lifestyle, overweight or obesity, and family history are the reason for the occurrence. Symptoms like lumps change in skin color, pain and discharges from nipples are common.

Medical science has advanced techniques for treating it and constant promotion through media, this disease is known to people.

Treatments options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgeries, hormone therapy, and immune therapy.

9. Pancreatic cancer

The cancerous cells develop in the pear-shaped organ in the abdomen which may be on the exocrine or endocrine area. The different type of pancreatic cancers results from:

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Endocrine tumors: The pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) or tumors of islet cells are the rare forms of pancreatic cancer.

Exocrine tumor: This is a commonly occurring pancreatic cancer. The tumors appear from the pancreatic ducts called ductal adenocarcinoma.  If it begins in aculi, it is termed as acinar adenocarcinoma.

Pancreatic cancers are the worst types of cancer as they silently occur with hardly any visible symptoms. In the advanced stage of cancer growth, it shows symptoms of weakness, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and chills.

Apart from this, bloated stomach and gastrointestinal discomforts, abdominal pain and dark urine and yellowish skin and jaundice symptoms gradually appear.

10. Leukemia

There are variations of leukemia depending on the area it affects like bloodstream or different blood cells. Leukemia is acute cancer and requires very aggressive treatment.

Common symptoms are a fever with chills, headaches, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, petechia and abdominal discomfort.

Leukemia develops in the white blood cells which reduces the body’s immunity and gradually infect other parts of the body. This makes it difficult for the body to stop bleeding. It either affects older adults or very young children.

Common forms of treatments are stem cell transplantation, radiation therapy, target therapy, or chemotherapy.

11. Liver cancer

Liver cancer is one of the worst types of cancer as it affects the most critical organ of the human body. A severe illness increases the chance of cancer affecting livers.

At the early stages, symptoms like pain occur on the right side of the upper abdomen or shoulder blade. Apart from this, liver enlargement, abdominal swelling and jaundice are common.

Later on, patients observe a sudden loss of weight and appetite, nausea, vomiting and fever.

Treatment options that are available are radiation therapy, surgery, and immune therapy. These treatments depend on the amount of damage caused to the liver and whether it has spread to other areas of the body.

Risk factors of cancer

There are several reasons for which a person may be susceptible to different types of cancer. Certain substances lead to cancer which is called carcinogens. Carcinogens can be certain molecules of tobacco smoke or environmental agents, genetic and viral factors.

Poor diets, overweight, alcoholism and family history of cancer are the probable risk factors of cancer.

How will you spot cancer?

The key to successful treatments of cancer is early detection and diagnosis. There are some rare types of cancer like those of breast, prostate, skin, mouth, and rectum. These are detected by periodic medical examinations or self-screening test.

A cancer diagnosis takes place through a laboratory test of blood, stool, or urine to detect any signs of abnormality that indicates cancer.

Imaging tests like X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI and computed tomography (CT), fiber-optic endoscopy, and ultrasound. Further confirmations of cancer are possible after biopsy of tissue samples.


There are variations in the treatment procedures of cancer. Mostly it depends on the severity of the patients, classification of cancer and what developmental stage are the cancerous cells. Hence, treatment includes radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

The supportive care may come from professionals like nurses and doctors and at the same time from the family. Supportive families render the psychological and emotional wellbeing of the patients. Whereas, constant professional care fulfill the goals of treatment.


Surgical operations lead to removing the different types of cancer from the body.

How will you reduce the risks of cancer?

The best way to reduce the chances of getting cancer is to avoid probable agents that cause cancer. This is to mean, stay away from tobacco and alcohol at the foremost.

Avoid exposure to excess sunlight and wear sunscreen more often when you are out in the sun. In fact, people who work closely with cancer viruses or chemical workers need to take proper safety measures in their workplace.

Final thoughts

Cancer was identified years ago as the most painful ailments of humans. However, researches regarding types of cancer have taken place within the last century. Today, you can find the cancer specialist or the oncologists implementing advanced techniques to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer.

The truth is some forms are difficult for treatments; in that case, early detection of cancer is the key. Also, awareness is important for improving the quality of the patients’ life.

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