There are more than 200 different types of cancers—all of which can be classified by the type of cell that is initially affected. By knowing the signs of the major types of cancer, you’ll be able to keep tabs on potentially severe changes in your body. Keep reading to find out more about the different types of cancer and their symptoms.
Female Reproductive Cancer
There are many different types of female reproductive cancers, all of which can be serious and potentially life-threatening. Cervical cancer starts in the cervix, the lower, narrow end of the uterus, and is the most common cancer in women worldwide. The symptoms of cervical cancer can vary depending on the cancer stage. The best cervical cancer doctors encourage consistent checkups that include a pap test, as early diagnosis is important for successful treatment. Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries, a pair of organs in the lower abdomen that produces eggs and hormones. This is the fifth most common cancer in women. The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect, as they often mimic the symptoms of other diseases, so early diagnosis is also critical for the successful treatment of ovarian cancer. Uterine cancer starts in the uterus, a hollow, muscular organ where a baby grows during pregnancy. The symptoms of uterine cancer usually include difficulty urinating and loss of appetite.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is slow-growing cancer that rarely spreads to other body parts. Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs on the face, head, and neck. A visit to an Iowa dermatology facility regularly helps ensure early detection, which is especially important in sunny locations. Squamous cell carcinoma is fast-growing cancer that can spread to other body parts. Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma may include a lump or tumor, a sore that doesn’t heal, bleeding, difficulty swallowing, or pain. This type of cancer usually occurs on the ears, face, neck, and hands. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, as it’s another fast-growing cancer that can spread to other parts of the body very quickly if it’s not detected in time. Melanoma usually occurs on the skin with the most sun exposure, such as the face, neck, and arms.
Leukemias are cancers that develop from white blood cells. There are several different types of leukemia, but they all have one common characteristic: cancer cells that have taken over the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside bones where new blood cells are made. In leukemia, the cancer cells crowd out the healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This can disrupt the body’s ability to fight infection and clot blood. Leukemia can develop in any age group but is most common in adults over 65. The cause of leukemia is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Treatment depends on the type of leukemia, how advanced it is, and the patient’s age and health. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplant.
Lymphoma develops from cells in the lymphatic system, a network of organs and vessels that helps rid the body of toxins and other waste products. Lymphomas can develop in any part of the lymphatic system but most often occur in the lymph nodes, spleen, or liver. There are two main types of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the white blood cells characterized by the presence of a certain type of cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the B-cells, which are a type of white blood cell. Lymphomas are treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. The type of treatment depends on the type of lymphoma, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s age and health.
Knowing the different types of cancers and their symptoms is essential to receiving an early diagnosis and treatment. Each type of cancer presents its own set of symptoms, which may be easily mistaken for other conditions. Using this guide, you can stay informed and detect any potential signs or symptoms.