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Types of Cancer
How Is Each Cancer Type Named?
Cancer is named after the part of the body where it originated. When cancer spreads, it keeps this same name. For example, if kidney cancer spreads to the lungs, it is still kidney cancer, not lung cancer. Lung cancer would be an example of a secondary tumor.
Staging is the process of determining whether cancer has spread and, if so, how far. There is more than one system used for staging cancer.
What Are the Different Types of Cancer?
Cancer is not just one disease but rather a group of diseases, all of which cause cells in the body to change and grow out of control. Cancers are classified either according to the kind of fluid or tissue from which they originate, or according to the location in the body where they first developed. In addition, some cancers are of mixed types.
The following five broad categories indicate the tissue and blood classifications of cancer:
A carcinoma is a cancer found in body tissue known as epithelial tissue that covers or lines surfaces of organs, glands, or body structures. For example, a cancer of the lining of the stomach is called a carcinoma. Many carcinomas affect organs or glands that are involved with secretion, such as breasts that produce milk. Carcinomas account for 80-90% of all cancer cases.
Types of carcinoma include:
A sarcoma is a malignant tumor growing from connective tissues, such as cartilage, fat, muscle, tendons, and bones. The most common sarcoma, a tumor on the bone, usually occurs in young adults. Examples of sarcoma include osteosarcoma (bone) and chondrosarcoma (cartilage).
Types of sarcoma include:
Lymphoma refers to a cancer that originates in the nodes or glands of the lymphatic system, whose job it is to produce white blood cells and clean body fluids, or in organs such as the brain and breast. Lymphomas are classified into two categories: Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Types of lymphoma include:
Leukemia, also known as blood cancer, is a cancer of the bone marrow that keeps the marrow from producing normal red and white blood cells and platelets. White blood cells are needed to resist infection. Red blood cells are needed to prevent anemia. Platelets keep the body from easily bruising and bleeding.
Examples of leukemia include acute myelogenous leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The terms myelogenous and lymphocytic indicate the type of cells that are involved.
Types of leukemia include:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- Agnogenic myeloid leukemia
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Chronic myeloid leukemia
- Essential thrombocythemia (ET)
- Hairy cell leukemia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
Myeloma grows in the plasma cells of bone marrow. In some cases, the myeloma cells collect in one bone and form a single tumor, called a plasmacytoma. However, in other cases, the myeloma cells collect in many bones, forming many bone tumors. This is called multiple myeloma.
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