The major types of cancer are carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma, and leukemia. Carcinomas — the most commonly diagnosed cancers — originate in the skin, lungs, breasts, pancreas, and other organs and glands. Lymphomas are cancers of lymphocytes. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. It does not usually form solid tumors. Sarcomas arise in bone, muscle, fat, blood vessels, cartilage, or other soft or connective tissues of the body. They are relatively uncommon. Melanomas are cancers that arise in the cells that make the pigment in the skin.
Types of Cancer
Use the menu below to find the guide you are looking for. The first tab offers some common diagnoses, but if you don’t see your specific diagnosis there, please use the Alphabetical tabs to see the entire list of Cancer Society guides.
Bladder cancer begins when healthy cells in the bladder lining—most commonly urothelial cells—change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor. Urothelial cells also line the renal pelvis and ureters. Cancer that develops in the renal pelvis and ureters is also considered a type of bladder cancer and is often called upper tract bladder cancer.
Breast Cancer begins when healthy cells in the breast change and grow out of control, forming a mass or sheet of cells called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located behind the base of a man’s penis, in front of the rectum, and below the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, the tube-like channel that carries urine and semen through the penis. The prostate’s main function is to make seminal fluid, the liquid in semen that protects, supports, and helps transport sperm.