Types of Cancer

Information on different types of Cancer.

Cancer first appears most often in the skin, the female breasts and the organs of the digestive, respiratory, reproductive, blood-forming, lymphatic and urinary systems. The number of cases of cancer in these sites varies from country to country. Cancer of the stomach, for instance, is much more common in Japan than in the United States and India. Rates of breast cancer is highest in the United States and the United Kingdom while lower in most Asian countries.

1. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world. Most skin cancers grow slowly and do not spread to other parts of the body. As a result, skin cancer is one of the easiest types to treat and cure. Most victims treated for skin cancer make full recoveries. However, one form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, is particularly dangerous. It begins in the skin’s pigment cells. If not detected early, it can spread to other parts of the body.

2. Breast cancer can attack both men and women but attacks women 100 times more than it attacks men. It occurs most often in women over age 40. Victims of breast cancer whose disease is detected and treated early have good long-term survival rates.

3. Cancers of the digestive organs most commonly affect the parts of the large intestine called the colon and the rectum. About half of all people treated for these cancers survive for at least five years or longer after treatment with no return of the disease. Other digestive organs than can be affected by cancer include the esophagus, liver, pancreas and stomach.

4. Cancers of the respiratory system involve the larynx and lungs. In most industrialized countries, lung cancer kills more people each year than any other cancer. The death rate is high because many lung cancers have spread to other body parts before being detected.

5. Cancers of the reproductive system are relatively common among both men and women. The male organ most affective by this type of cancer is the prostate and is most common among men over age 50. Proper treatment can cure the disease in its early stages and control more advanced prostate cancer for many years. The most common cancers in the female reproductive system attack the uterus. It can also attack the cervix.

6. Cancers of the blood-forming and lymphatic systems. Cancer of the bone marrow and other blood-forming organs is called leukemia. This type of cancer can also attack the lymphatic system. This system is a network of vessels that returns fluids to eh bloodstream and helps fight disease. Lymphatic cancer is called lymphoma. Many people with AIDS develop this kind of cancer.

7. Cancers of the urinary system. The bladder is the urinary organ most commonly affected by cancer. The majority of bladder cancer patients are men, and most survive five years. Many such cancers are detected early because they arise in the inner layer of the bladder and cause bleeding in the urine.

Cancer that attacks mainly children is called pediatric cancer. The common types of cancer that strike children include neuroblastoma, which arises in nervous tissue; retinoblastoma, which develops in the eye; nephroblastoma, also called Wilm’s tumor, which occurs in the kidneys; rhabdomyosarcoma, which arises from soft tissues; and Ewing’s sarcoma, which develops in the bones. These cancers are extremely rare in adults.

The emotional impact on the family and physical and emotional consequences to the child are important considerations in the treatment of pediatric cancer. Fortunately, many of these types of cancers are highly curable and many children survive to lead normal live following treatment. However, the treatment of pediatric cancer may have long-term consequences for patients. For example, radiation therapy and chemotherapy can actually cause secondary cancers, including leukemia, years after treatment has been completed. Other long-term consequences of cancer treatment may include stunted growth and infertility later in life.

Scientists have found that the cells of pediatric cancers often show specific genetic abnormalities. These abnormalities have given researchers a better understanding of the genetic difference between normal cells and cancer cells.

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  1. Very informative, thanks!

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