Types of Cancer Classified by Body System.
Cancer has the potential to affect every organ in the body. The cells within malignant tumors have the ability to invade neighboring tissues and organs, thus spreading the disease. It is also possible for cancerous cells to break free from the tumor and enter the bloodstream, in turn spreading the disease to other organs. This process of spreading is called metastasis.
When cancer has metastasized and has affected other areas of the body, the disease is still referred to the organ of origination. For instance, if cervical cancer spreads to the lungs, it is still called cervical cancer, not lung cancer.
Blood Cancer: The cells in the bone marrow that give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets can sometimes become cancerous. These cancers are leukemia or lymphoma.
Bone Cancer: Bone cancer is a relatively rare type of cancer that can affect both children and adults, but primarily affects children and teens.
Brain Cancer: Brain tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). They affect both children and adults. Malignant brain tumors don't often spread beyond the brain. However, other types of cancer have the ability to spread to the brain.
Breast Cancer: Breast cancer is a common type of cancer that affects women and much less commonly, men. More than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year.
Digestive/Gastrointestinal Cancers This is a broad category of cancer that affects everything from the esophagus to the anus. Each type is specific and has its own symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Endocrine Cancers: The endocrine system is an instrumental part of the body that is responsible for glandular and hormonal activity. Thyroid cancer is the most common of the endocrine cancer types and generally, the least fatal.
Eye Cancer: Like other organs in the human body, the eyes are vulnerable to cancer as well. Eye cancer can affect both children and adults.
Genitourinary Cancers: These types of cancer affect the male genitalia and urinary tract.
Gynecologic Cancers: This group of cancer types affect the organs of the female reproductive system. Specialized oncologists called gynecologic oncologists are recommended for treating gynecologic cancer.
Head and Neck Cancer: Most head and neck cancers affect moist mucosal surfaces of the head and neck, like the mouth, throat, and nose. Causes of head and neck cancer vary, but cigarette smoking plays a role. Current research suggests a strong HPV link in the development of some head and neck cancer.
Respiratory Cancers: Cigarette smoking is the primary cause for cancer affecting the respiratory system. Exposure to asbestos is also a factor.
Skin Cancers: Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among men and women. Exposure to the UV rays of the sun is the primary cause for non-melanoma skin cancer and also melanoma.