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Cancer, also called malignancy, is an abnormal growth of cells. There are more than 100 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma. Symptoms vary depending on the type. Cancer treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

Cancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you don’t need them, and old cells don’t die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren’t cancer while malignant ones are. Cells from malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Most treatment plans may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Some may involve hormone therapy, immunotherapy or other types of biologic therapy, or stem cell transplantation.

Most common types
Breast cancer
A cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.
Prostate cancer
A cancer in a man’s prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland that produces seminal fluid.
Basal cell cancer
A type of skin cancer that begins in the basal cells.
The most serious type of skin cancer.
Colon cancer
A cancer of the colon or rectum, located at the digestive tract’s lower end.
Lung cancer
A cancer that begins in the lungs and most often occurs in people who smoke.
A cancer of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body’s ability to fight infection.
A cancer of the lymphatic system.

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