The breast is made up of glands called lobules that can make milk and thin tubes called ducts that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple. Breast tissue also contains fat and connective tissue, lymph nodes, and blood vessels.
The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. Breast cancer can also begin in the cells of the lobules and in other tissues in the breast. Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from where it began in the ducts or lobules to surrounding tissue.
Colon and Rectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the body’s digestive system. During digestion, food moves through the stomach and small intestine into the colon. The colon absorbs water and nutrients from the food and stores waste matter (stool). Stool moves from the colon into the rectum before it leaves the body.
Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp, which may form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. Some polyps become cancer over time. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.
The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower part of the abdomen that stores urine until it is passed out of the body.
The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, which begins in urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder. Urothelial cells are transitional cells, which are able to change shape and stretch when the bladder is full. This type of cancer is also called urothelial carcinoma. Other types of bladder cancer include squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells lining the bladder) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).
People who smoke have an increased risk of bladder cancer. Being exposed to certain chemicals and having chronic bladder infections can also increase the risk of bladder cancer.
The most common sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. Bladder cancer is often diagnosed at an early stage, when the cancer is easier to treat.
The uterus is a hollow, muscular organ where a fetus grows. Uterine cancer can start in different parts of the uterus. Most uterine cancers start in the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus). This is called endometrial cancer. Most endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make mucus and other fluids).
Uterine sarcoma is an uncommon form of uterine cancer that forms in the muscle and tissue that support the uterus.
Obesity, certain inherited conditions, and taking estrogen alone (without progesterone) can increase the risk of endometrial cancer. Radiation therapy to the pelvis can increase the risk of uterine sarcoma. Taking tamoxifen for breast cancer can increase the risk of both endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma.
The most common sign of endometrial cancer is unusual vaginal bleeding. Endometrial cancer can usually be cured. Uterine sarcoma is harder to cure.
The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped breathing organs inside the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body when breathing in and send carbon dioxide out of the body when breathing out. Each lung has sections called lobes. Two tubes called bronchi lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs.
The two main types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. The types are based on the way the cells look under a microscope. Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common than small cell lung cancer.
Tobacco smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S. and the number of deaths from lung cancer in women is increasing.
For most patients with lung cancer, current treatments do not cure the cancer.
The pancreas lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine. There are two kinds of cells in the pancreas. Exocrine pancreas cells make enzymes that are released into the small intestine to help the body digest food. Neuroendocrine pancreas cells (such as islet cells) make several hormones, including insulin and glucagon that help control sugar levels in the blood.
Most pancreatic cancers form in exocrine cells. These tumors do not secrete hormones and do not cause signs or symptoms. This makes it hard to diagnose this type of pancreatic cancer early. For most patients with exocrine pancreatic cancer, current treatments do not cure the cancer.
Some types of malignant pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, such as islet cell tumors, have a better prognosis than pancreatic exocrine cancers.
The prostate gland makes fluid that forms part of semen. The prostate lies just below the bladder in front of the rectum and it surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen through the penis and out of the body).
Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Prostate cancer often has no early symptoms. Advanced prostate cancer can cause men to urinate more often or have a weaker flow of urine, but these symptoms can also be caused by benign prostate conditions.
Prostate cancer usually grows very slowly. Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years and do not die from the disease. Finding and treating prostate cancer before symptoms occur may not improve health or help you live longer. Talk to your doctor about your risk of prostate cancer and whether you need screening tests.
The thyroid is a gland at the base of the throat near the windpipe. It is shaped like a butterfly, with a right lobe and a left lobe. A thin piece of tissue connects the two lobes. The thyroid makes hormones that help control heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight.
There are four types of thyroid cancer. These are papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Papillary is the most common type of thyroid cancer.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer is hard to cure with current treatment. Other types of thyroid cancer can usually be cured.
Being exposed to radiation to the head and neck as a child increases the risk of thyroid cancer. Having certain genetic conditions such as familial medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A syndrome, and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B syndrome can also increase the risk of thyroid cancer.
There are two kidneys, one on each side of the spine, above the waist. The kidneys clean the blood to take out waste and make urine. Urine collects in the renal pelvis, the area at the center of the kidney, and then passes through the ureter, into the bladder, and out of the body. The kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure and signal the bone marrow to make red blood cells when needed.
There are three main types of kidney cancer. Renal cell cancer is the most common type in adults and Wilms tumors are the most common in children. These types form in the tissues of the kidney that make urine. Transitional cell cancer forms in the renal pelvis and ureter in adults.
Smoking and taking certain pain medicines for a long time can increase the risk of adult kidney cancer. Certain inherited disorders can increase the risk of kidney cancer in children and adults. These include von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer, Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome, and hereditary papillary renal cancer.
Bone cancer is a cancer that arises from cells that make up the bones in our body. There are different types of bone cancers that affect different areas of bones or surrounding tissues.
Osteosarcoma: is the most common bone cancer that starts in bone cells. This cancer affects mostly younger patients. These tumors develop most often in bones of the arms, legs, or pelvis.
Chondrosarcoma: is cancer of the cartilage cells. It is the second most common primary bone cancer and it develops in bones such as the pelvis, leg bone or arm bone. Occasionally it will develop in the trachea, larynx, and chest wall. Other sites are shoulder blades, ribs, or skull.
Blood cancers affect the production and function of your blood cells. Most of these cancers start in your bone marrow where blood is produced. Stem cells in your bone marrow mature and develop into three types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. In most blood cancers, the normal blood cell development process is interrupted by uncontrolled growth of an abnormal type of blood cell. These abnormal blood cells, or cancerous cells, prevent your blood from performing many of its functions, like fighting off infections or preventing serious bleeding.
Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. Most blood cells form in the bone marrow. In leukemia, cancerous blood cells form and crowd out the healthy blood cells in the bone marrow.
The type of leukemia depends on the type of blood cell that has become cancerous. For example, acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a cancer of the lymphoblasts (white blood cells that fight infection). White blood cells are the most common type of blood cell to become cancer. But red blood cells (cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body) and platelets (cells that clot the blood) may also become cancer.
Leukemia occurs most often in adults older than 55 years, and it is the most common cancer in children younger than 15 years.
Leukemia is either acute or chronic. Acute leukemia is a fast-growing cancer that usually gets worse quickly. Chronic leukemia is a slower-growing cancer that gets worse slowly over time. The treatment and prognosis for leukemia depend on the type of blood cell affected and whether the leukemia is acute or chronic. Chemotherapy is often used to treat leukemia.
The skin protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water and fat. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It usually forms in skin that has been exposed to sunlight, but can occur anywhere on the body.
Skin has several layers. Skin cancer begins in the epidermis (outer layer), which is made up of squamous cells, basal cells, and melanocytes.
There are several different types of skin cancer. Squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers are sometimes called nonmelanoma skin cancers. Nonmelanoma skin cancer usually responds to treatment and rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Melanoma is more aggressive than most other types of skin cancer. If it isn’t diagnosed early, it is likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The number of cases of melanoma is increasing each year. Only 2 percent of all skin cancers are melanoma, but it causes most deaths from skin cancer.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in cells of the lymph system. The lymph system is part of the immune system, which helps the body fight infection and disease. Because lymph tissue is found all through the body, lymphoma can begin almost anywhere.
The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). These can occur in both children and adults.
Most people with Hodgkin lymphoma have the classic type. With this type, there are large, abnormal lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the lymph nodes called Reed-Sternberg cells. Hodgkin lymphoma can usually be cured.
There are many different types of NHL that form from different types of white blood cells (B-cells, T-cells, NK cells). Most types of NHL form from B-cells. NHL may be indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing). The most common types of NHL in adults are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, which is usually aggressive, and follicular lymphoma, which is usually indolent.
Mycosis fungoides and the Sézary syndrome are types of NHL that start in white blood cells in the skin. Primary central nervous system lymphoma is a rare type of NHL that starts in white blood cells in the brain, spinal cord, or eye.
The treatment and the chance of a cure depend on the stage and the type of lymphoma.
Types of Treatment
There are many types of cancer treatment. The types of treatment that you receive will depend on the type of cancer you have and how advanced it is.
· Surgery: many cancers are treated with surgery, it works best for solid tumors that are contained in one area and tumors that are causing pain or pressure. Surgery is not viable for cancers that have spread or cancers such as leukemia.
· Radiation Therapy: a high dose of radiation kills cancer cells or slows their growth. Radiation is used to cure cancer, prevent cancer from recurring or to stop growth.
· Chemotherapy: is used to treat many types of cancers. Chemotherapy works by slowing or stopping growth of cancer cell which divide and grown at a fast rate. It is used to cure cancer, stop or slow the growth of cancer, it is also used to shrink the size of tumors.
· Targeted Therapy: this is a type of treatment that targets the changes in cancer cells that helps them grow, divide and spread.
· Hormone Therapy: is used to treat patients with breast and prostate cancers. This therapy can lower the risk that cancer will come back after the main treatment.
· Stem Cell Transplant: this type of treatment, in most cancers, doesn’t work against cancer, they help patients recover their ability to produce stem cells after treatment with very high doses of radiation or chemotherapy. However, in some leukemia the stem cell transplant may work against cancer directly. Stem cell transplant is most beneficial for patients with leukemia, and lymphoma.
Side Effects of treatment
Cancer treatments can cause side effects and problems that occur when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Side effects vary from person to person, even among those receiving the same treatment. Some people have very few side effects while others have many. The type of treatment(s) you receive, as well as the amount or frequency of the treatment, your age, and other health conditions you have may also factor into the side effects you may have.
Before you start treatment, ask your doctor what side effects you are likely to have. Learn about steps you can take, as well as supportive care that you will receive, to lessen side effects during and after treatment.
Common side effects caused by cancer treatment include:
- Appetite Loss
- Bleeding and Bruising (Thrombocytopenia)
- Hair Loss (Alopecia)
- Infection and Neutropenia
- Memory or Concentration Problems
- Mouth and Throat Problems
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Nerve Problems (Peripheral Neuropathy)
- Sexual and Fertility Problems (Men)
- Sexual and Fertility Problems (Women)
- Skin and Nail Changes
- Sleep Problems
- Urinary and Bladder Problems