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Common types of cancers and their origins

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Did you know that cancer is the no. 1 cause of death globally? In fact, in 2020, there were over 10 million cancer-caused deaths reported from around the world. To put that into perspective one in every six deaths that occurred that year was due to cancer. As cancer is such a prevalent and fatal disease, knowing about it is crucial. 


In this article, we will be enumerating the common types of cancers and their origins. So, if you would like to expand your knowledge about the different types of cancer, read ahead!



General types of cancer

The following are the general types of cancer.

  • Carcinoma is a type of cancer that originates in the tissues or skin that line the organs.

  • Sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in the connective tissues like cartilage, blood vessels, bones, etc.

  • Leukaemia is a type of cancer that develops in the bone marrow. The bone marrow is responsible for creating new blood cells.

  • Myeloma and Lymphoma are cancers that invade the immune system of the body.

A to Z list of the different types of cancer

Below-mentioned is a list of the different types of cancer and their respective points of origin. Please note that this list is not all-inclusive.

  1. Bladder cancer: This form of cancer generally occurs in older individuals and develops in the organ that is responsible for storing urine, the bladder.

  2. Brain cancer: Since the brain has various cell types, there are different types of brain cancers based on the type of cell affected.

  3. Breast cancer: Breast cancer is one of the most commonly occurring cancers in women and typically develops as a lump in the breast.

  4. Cervical cancer: This type of cancerous growth is generally caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. The vagina and uterus are connected by the cervix.

  5. Colon cancer: This is one of the more commonly occurring cancers that develop in the large intestine. The large intestine is the organ that processes food digestion in the body.

  6. Oesophageal cancer: This type of cancer typically develops in the oesophagus and occurs more in women than in men.Food is transported from the mouth to the stomach via the oesophagus.

  7. Fallopian tube cancer: This type of cancer grows in the fallopian tubes of women. The fallopian tube carries the egg cells to the uterus from the ovaries.

  8. Head & neck cancers: These types of cancers originate in the lips, nose, mouth, throat or sinuses. They are usually triggered by HPV infection or by tobacco or alcohol consumption.

  9. Kidney cancer: Kidney Cancer develops in the kidneys and is generally diagnosed in older individuals. The kidney is the organ that filters out extra water and waste from the body and produces urine.

  10. Leukaemia: This type of cancer develops in the body's blood cells. Since it originates in the blood, tumorous growths are not formed like in other types of cancer.

  11. Lung cancer: Lung Cancer develops in the lungs and is typically caused by smoking. 

  12. Lymphoma: Lymphoma originates in the lymphatic organs. These organs assist in waste removal and defend the body against infections.

  13. Mesothelioma: This type of cancer starts to grow in the tissue lining the abdomen, heart, chest and lungs. It is generally triggered by exposure to asbestos.

  14. Multiple Myeloma: This type of cancer develops in the plasma cells. These cells are formed in the bone marrow and are responsible for fighting infection. 

  15. Neuroendocrine tumours: This form of cancer originates in the specialised cells of the neuroendocrine system. The role of these cells is producing essential hormones.

  16. Ovarian cancer: Cancers that develop on the peritoneum, fallopian tubes and ovaries are all considered ovarian cancers. 

  17. Pancreatic cancer: This type of cancer originates from the pancreas and is typically diagnosed in older individuals. The pancreas is an organ that maintains the blood sugar level of the body and also helps in digestion.

  18. Prostate cancer: This type of cancer occurs in the semen-producing glands of men.

  19. Rectal cancer: This type of cancer develops in the colon and rectum and so, is sometimes referred to as colorectal cancer. The rectum is situated in the latter part of the large intestine.

  20. Sarcomas: If tumours form in the connective tissues, they are called sarcomas. These types of cancers typically invade the tissues, nerves, veins, bones and muscles.

  21. Skin cancer: There are different types of skin cancer, and exposure to direct sunlight is their leading cause.

  22. Small cell carcinoma: This type of cancer is an aggressive variant of Lung Cancer and constitutes over 13% of all generally diagnosed lung cancer cases.

  23. Stomach cancer: There are various types of stomach cancers. The leading risk factors for these types of cancers include a poor diet, smoking and infections.

  24. Testicular cancer: This type of cancer develops in the testicles of males. The testicles are the sperm cell producing glands. A lump in a testicle is a typical symptom of Testicular Cancer.

  25. Thyroid cancer: This type of cancer is more common in women. It originates in the thyroid, which is located in the neck. The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones.

Frequently asked questions

The following are the most commonly asked questions regarding the common types of cancers.

How many types of cancer are there?


There are over 100 different types of cancers.

Which is the deadliest type of cancer?


Lung Cancer and Breast Cancer are the deadliest types of cancer in men and women, respectively.

What are the common types of cancer treatments?


The most common types of cancer treatments include the following.

  • Surgery

  • Photodynamic therapy

  • Biomarker testing

  • Hormone therapy

  • Chemotherapy

  • Immunotherapy

  • Hyperthermia

  • Radiation therapy

  • Targeted therapy

  • Stem cell transplant

Which cancer types can be cured?


The following are the top five curable cancer types.

  • Female breast cancer

  • Testicular cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Melanoma (skin cancer)

  • Thyroid cancer

Which types of cancers cannot be cured?


The following types of cancers cannot be cured but can be treated and managed.

  • Gallbladder cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Oesophagal cancer

  • Mesothelioma

  • Pleural cancer

  • Acute monocytic leukaemia

  • Lung and bronchial cancer

  • Liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer

Can cancers be genetically transferred from parents to children?


Yes, a few cancer types are genetically transferred from parents to children. However, a majority of cancer types are triggered by external stimuli.


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. As this content piece is not vetted by a medical professional, please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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