Types of cancer

2017-02-01 06:01

AS cancer can affect most areas of the body, there are many different types of cancer. The main forms of cancer include carcinomas, sarcomas and lymphomas.

There are over 100 different types of cancer that can affect humans. All cancers involve the abnormal division of cells – and the ability to form a tumour and/or spread cancerous cells to other parts of the body.

It must be remembered that not all tumours are cancerous – if a tumour is benign, it is not described as cancerous.

Not all sources agree on the exact classification of the different types of cancer, as the word “cancer” is a very broad term used to describe a variety of malignant diseases. Each type of cancer has its own causes, symptoms and treatment.

But cancer classification is also done according to the attributes of the cancer cells as seen under the microscope, says the Journal of Cancer. And cancer staging is the process of finding out how much cancer is in a person’s body and where it is located, says the American Cancer Society. Staging is done to determine treatment and prognosis.

Some cancers have components from different categories.

According to the CANSA (Cancer Society of South Africa) the cancers that affect most South Africans are, in order:


- Prostate cancer

- Skin cancer

- Unknown primary origin of cancer

- Lung cancer

- Colorectal cancer


- Breast cancer

- Cervical cancer

- Skin cancer

- Colorectal cancer

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