Cancer: Types & Stages

Cancer: Types & Stages

In simple words, cancer is a phenomenon where the cells of the body begin to grow and reproduce uncontrollably. These cells are lethal in the manner in which they invade healthy cells to destroy tissue and organs.

It’s hard to speak of cancer in such generalization as the symptoms, treatment and prognosis of the cancer depends on the location and types of cancer. However, all cancer typically can be categorized by the stage of the cancer. The stage of cancer is a measure of the extent to which the cancer has spread.

It’s measured on a scale of roman numerical (I to IV – IV being more severe). The treatment of cancer is determined primarily by staging. Here is a basic description of what each stage represent:

Stage I – Localized Cancer. No Metastasis

Stage II – Advanced Local Cancer.

Stage III – Cancer has reached the lymph nodes.

Stage IV – Cancer has spread to other organs or throughout the body.

These are not accurate measures of staging as the process Is a bit more complicated than that. But to get a basic understanding of diagnosis and treatment this information should provide useful enough.

Staging is a primary diagnosis that’s made in order to assess prognosis (the probability of cure).  Beyond this juncture all generalizations now go out the window. There are various types of cancer and all the symptoms and treatments changed based on the type.  Here is a list of the types of cancers:

-          Anal cancer

-          Bile duct cancer

-          Bladder cancer

-          Bone cancer

-          Bowel cancer

-          Brain tumour (high-grade)

-          Brain tumour (low-grade/mixed)

-          Breast cancer (female)

-          Breast cancer (male)

-          Cervical cancer

-          Eye cancer

-          Head and neck cancer

-          Hodgkin’s lymphoma

-          Kaposi’s sarcoma

-          Kidney cancer

-          Laryngeal cancer

-          Leukaemia (acute)

-          Leukaemia (chronic)

-          Liver cancer

-          Lung cancer

-          Lymphoma

-          Mesothelioma

-          Mouth cancer

-          Multiple myeloma

-          Nasopharyngeal cancer

-          Neuroendocrine tumours

-          Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

-          Nose and sinus cancer

-          Oesophageal cancer

-          Ovarian cancer

-          Pancreatic cancer

-          Prostate cancer

-          Skin cancer (malignant melanoma)

-          Skin cancer (non-melanoma)

-          Stomach cancer

-          Testicular cancer

-          Thyroid cancer

-          Uterine cancer

-          Vaginal cancer

-          Vulval cancer


The most common cause of cancer resulting in death is lung cancer. This along with Prostate cancer and colon cancer are the most common cancers in men in the United States. In women breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer are the most common.

There’s so much more to understand of cancer and how the biology of it can help us understand treatment and prevention. This article is a very brief insight into what we know of cancer, and there is still so much more that we don’t know. This search goes on.

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