Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

What Is Cancer And What Are the Most Common Types?

Posted by Total Access Medical on Apr 05, 2022

Screen Shot 2022-04-05 at 1.13.35 PMResearch shows that at least 1/3 of all cancer cases are preventable. That means many lives can be saved with preventative measures and earlier detection.

What is Cancer?

Cancer develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stopsworking. Under healthy conditions, new cells form and replace old cells that wear out or have become damaged. Cancer begins to form when old cells do not die and instead grow out of control, forming new, abnormal cells, that overwhelm the healthy ones.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S. It accounts for nearly 1 in 4 deaths. Although not all cancers are preventable, many of them are, through simple lifestyle changes. Additionally, with early detection, many cancers can be successfully treated.

What Are The Most Common Types?

  1. Non-Melanoma skin cancer. Skin cancer can form in the skin cells on any part of the body. The different types of skin cancers include Squamous cell, which is found on flat cells on the top of the skin, and Basal cell, which is found in the round cells deeper inside the skin’s outer layer.

  2. Lung cancer. Lung cancer strikes the cells inside the lining of the lungs. The two primary types of lung cancer are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

  3. Breast cancer. This is a cancer that develops in the breast cells and progresses in stages. It is by far the most common cancer in women. However, about 1,900 cases are diagnosed in men each year.

  4. Prostate cancer. This type of cancer develops in the tissues inside the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a part of the reproductive system in men and is found at the base of the bladder, near the rectum. Prostate cancer commonly affects men, mostly over the age of 50.

  5. Colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer begins in the last part of the digestive tract, the colon. The colon is part of the large intestine, which helps break down and digest food.

  1. Bladder cancer. The bladder can be affected by cancer cells that develop within its tissues. The most

    common type is transitional cell carcinoma.

  2. Melanoma. This is a type of skin cancer. It forms in the skin’s melanocyte cells which produce brown pigment melanin and it frequently begins in moles. It may also be found in other parts of the body such as the intestines or the eyes.

  3. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. This cancer involves white blood cells, or lymphocytes. There are many different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affect different cells and parts of the body.

  4. Kidney cancer. The kidneys are the organs that help to excrete waste from the body in the form of urine. Cancer can form inside the tissues or ducts of the kidneys.

  5. Leukemia. Leukemia forms inside the bone marrow or other cells and tissues that form blood cells, and is known as blood cancer. Leukemia results in overproduction of certain kinds of white blood cells, which then circulate in the bloodstream.

Cancer screening tests can be helpful in detecting cancer at an early stage, increasing the chances of successful treatment. Cancer screening should be part of preventative measures and screenings are typically done prior to disease symptoms. 

Understand what screening tests are available and any associated risks with screening options. Discuss with your doctor what cancer screenings you should take part in.

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