An adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that develops in the epithelial cells of glandular tissue throughout the body. Though it can originate in any of the body’s secretory tissues, adenocarcinoma of the ovary may have a different prognosis and treatment plan than an adenocarcinoma of the lung. Most lung and colon cancers are adenocarcinomas.
Bladder cancer is a term for any number of malignant cell growths in the urinary bladder – typically in the inner lining cells. Blood in the urine, frequent urination, and pain during urination are common symptoms.
Bladder carcinoma is a type of bladder cancer originating the cells lining the inside wall of the bladder. The most common type of bladder cancer in the US, a transitional cell carcinoma bladder tumor can originate in similar cells lining the inside of the urethra or ureters.
Bone cancer refers to a malignant cell growth in the bone tissue. Primary bone cancers – such as osteosarcoma – originate in the bone, while the more common secondary bone cancers originate in another part of the body and spread to the bone. Noncancerous (benign) bone tumors are much more common than malignant bone tumors and are often not life-threatening.
A brain tumor is an uncontrolled growth of cells within the brain that interferes with its normal functioning – affecting the patient’s behavior and overall functioning. As different parts of the brain control different parts of the body, tumors in different locations within the brain will affect the patient differently – changes in speech, vision, personality, headaches, and memory loss are common symptoms.
Breast cancer, or malignant breast neoplasm, is a cancer originating in breast tissue. Early symptoms include changes in the size or shape of the breast, breast lumps, inverted nipples, or discharge from the nipple. About twelve percent of women and a small number of men will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime; monthly breast self-exams for women in their 20’s and yearly mammograms for women over 40 are recommended to ensure early detection.
Cervical cancer is a cancer that develops in the tissue of the cervix – the organ connecting the uterus and the vagina. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by a common sexually transmitted illness called HPV (or human papillomavirus); as the early stages of cervical cancer often do not present with any symptoms, regular pap smears are recommended for sexually active women.
Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is a cancer originating from adenomatous polyps that form within the colon and rectum. Though colon polyps are usually benign, regular colonoscopy screenings are recommended – and can actually prevent colon cancer by catching polyps before they become cancerous.
Esophageal cancer is a cancer that originates in the esophagus – a tube-like organ that carries food from the throat to the stomach. Tumors in the upper portion of the esophagus are frequently associated with tobacco and alcohol use, and tumors in the lower portion can often be attributed to conditions like Barrett’s Esophagus or acid reflux disease.
A hemangioma – sometimes called an infantile hemangioma or a strawberry hemangioma – is a spongy, protuberant mass of blood vessels that forms on the skin or organs during gestation and typically disappears within the child’s first ten years of life. Typically benign, hemangiomas will typically be monitored by the child’s physician but often require no additional treatment.
Formerly referred to as Hodgkin’s disease, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system – the part of the immune system responsible for creating white blood cells. The disease compromises the body’s ability to fight infection, and as the lymphatic system carries fluids through the entire body, cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body easily.
Kidney cancer – also called renal cancer – is a cancer whose malignant cells originate in the kidneys. The most common type of kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma, originates in the tubules responsible for filtering the blood. As early kidney cancer frequently presents with no symptoms, tumors are often discovered fortuitously during images or procedures for other conditions.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. The disease interferes with the bone marrow’s ability to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets – causing it to instead release leukemia cells and severely increasing the patient’s risk for developing infections, anemia, and bleeding. While chronic leukemia (which is more common in older patients) develops slowly over time, acute leukemia presents itself rapidly and requires more immediate and aggressive treatment. Most childhood leukemias are of the acute variety.
Liver cancer, also called hepatoma or primary liver cancer, is a cancer arising from the liver’s hepatocytic cells. The term “liver cancer” can also refer to secondary liver cancers that originated in cancerous tissue and have metastasized to the liver from other parts of the body.
One of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, lung cancer is a cancer that arises from cells in lung tissue – most commonly in the lining of the bronchi. Small-cell lung cancer is less common and spreads faster, while non small-cell lung cancer develops more slowly and comprises most lung cancer diagnoses. Up to 87 percent of lung cancer cases in the US are related to smoking.
The term “lymphoma” refers to a number of cancers of the lymphatic system in which white blood cells undergo a malignant transformation and gather in the lymph nodes – forming a tumor. Lymphomas can be categorized as Hodgkin’s lymphoma (which develops from a specific line of white blood cells) or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (which comprises all other lymphomas).
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in pigment-producing skin cells called melanocytes – with frequent exposure to UV radiation from sunlight, noncancerous melanocyte moles can become malignant tumors. Dermatologists and oncologists recommend limiting exposure to the powerful midday sun and wearing protective sunscreen.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer originating in the mesothelium – the thin, protective layer of cells lining the body’s internal organs. The vast majority of cases are related to asbestos exposure, though symptoms may not appear until decades after contact with asbestos.
Metastasis is the process by which cancer cells break away from their host tumor, invade either the circulatory or lymphatic system, and travel to other parts of the body. This allows the cancer to spread by establishing new tumors – metastasis indicates a later-stage cancer and makes treatment more complicated.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the body’s plasma cells – a type of white blood cell responsible for the production of antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria. Abnormal cells collect in the bone marrow, often resulting in bone pain and lesions, and interfere with the body’s ability to fight infection.
Ovarian carcinoma is a cancer arising from the ovaries – either from the cells of the epithelial lining or from the egg cells. The disease is difficult to detect early, often presents with a range of non-specific symptoms (such as back or abdominal pain, bloating, and weight loss), and its cause is unknown.
Pancreatic cancer is a malignant cancer of the pancreas – an enzyme-producing organ located behind the stomach that secretes insulin and other digestive enzymes. One of the most aggressive types of cancer, the disease spreads rapidly, is often resistant to treatment, and is usually not discovered until after it has spread to other parts of the body.
Prostate cancer, or prostate carcinoma, is a cancer that forms in the tissue of the prostate – a small gland of the male reproductive system located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and mostly affects older men; early signs are typically changes in urinary and sexual function.
Also called skin neoplasm, skin cancer is a broad term encompassing three different types of cancer – basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma. Basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer are much more common and have a significantly lower mortality rate than melanoma. Skin cancers are frequently linked with sun exposure and are the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the United States.
Stomach cancer – also called gastric cancer – forms in the tissue of the stomach and spreads easily to the esophagus and lungs. Associated with prolonged consumption of carcinogens through food, stomach cancer has become increasingly less common in the United States and is more frequently diagnosed in developing countries.
Testicular cancer is a cancer of the testicles – it mostly affects younger men (between the ages of 20 and 39) who have a family history of testicular cancer or otherwise abnormal testicular development. Early signs include pain and swelling in the groin area, and most cases are very treatable when caught early.
Throat cancer is a cancer that develops in the tissues of the throat, voice box, and tonsils – most cases are squamous cell cancers arising from the mucosal tissue lining these parts. Often categorized with head and neck cancers, throat cancer is strongly linked to smoking, use of chewing tobacco, and alcohol.
Thyroid cancer arises from the tissue of the thyroid gland – a butterfly-shaped gland in the throat that secretes hormones responsible for regulating metabolism. Thyroid cancer mostly affects women between the ages of 25 and 65 and is typically quite curable.
A tumor is an abnormal growth of cells within the body that swells and protrudes from the surrounding tissue. Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous), malignant (cancerous), or pre-malignant. Growths are be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, family history, viruses, alcohol or tobacco use, and environmental exposure – symptoms will depend on the type and location of the mass.
Uterine cancer originates in the endometrial lining or in the muscle of the uterus – though the vast majority of uterine cancers are endometrial cancer. The most commonly diagnosed gynecological cancer in the United States, uterine cancer can be linked to obesity and diet as well as genetics and is treatable when caught in its early stages.