In medical terms, cancer is a collection of more than two hundred different diseases. Cancers are classified in more than a few ways and there are many different types of cancers commonly found among the American population.

One way to categorize cancer is by the type of tissue or cell where the growth began. Additionally, medical experts also categorize the cancer type by the organ system or the organ where it originated. Cancers can also be blood related and the different type of blood cancers includes lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma.

It can be difficult to diagnose if a tumor is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). However, the key difference between these tumors is that the malignant ones can spread to other parts of the body. Yet to make the diagnosis difficult, these tumors may also contain mixture of cells that include precancerous cells, normal cells, and cancerous cells. Still, early detection is vital to ensure the success of cancer treatment, and doctors at our low income clinics and free womens clinics can help with that.

Cancers by Tissue or Cell Type

Many cancers are named after the type of cells where it begins. Understanding these cell types can be helpful if you or any member of your family is diagnosed with cancer. For instance, you may have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, but there are many varieties of kidney cancers that can differ greatly based on the kidney cell type where the tumor began.

Based on cell type, cancers can be classified into six major groups.

  • Sarcomas – Cancers affecting the bone and soft tissues made up of mesenchymal cells.
  • Carcinomas – Cancers that start in the epithelial cells. This is the most common type of cancer that accounts for around 80 to 90 percent of cancers.
  • Leukemia – Cancers affecting the blood cells that originate in the bone marrow.
  • Myelomas – Cancer that affects the plasma cells in the immune system.
  • Lymphomas – Cancers that start in the cells of the immune system. This type of cancer can develop in the lymph nodes or extra nodal sites like stomach, spleen, or testicles.
  • Mixed Types – Cancer cells may show characteristics of more than a single type of cancer. This type of cancer includes Blastomas, a tissue type of cancer that occurs in embryonic cells, which are the cells that have not yet become mesenchymal or epithelial cells.

These are the common types of cancers found among the US population. Get in touch with our low income clinics and free womens clinics to learn how to diagnose cancer and how to adopt an effective treatment plan to deal with the health condition.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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