Popular questions...


Are there different types of cancer?

There many different cancer types, which are based upon the cell or organ of origin: Carcinoma originates in cells lining the body cavities; sarcoma originates in cells of supportive tissue such as muscle, bone and fatty tissue; lymphoma originates in cells in the lymphatic system; leukemia and myeloma originate in bone marrow cells that produce white blood cells, and; central nervous system cancers begin in the brain or spinal cord. In addition to the type, cancers are also defined by stage - the extent to which the cancer has invaded beyond its original site. There are different ways of staging cancers, but in general, factors used to define stages include: the size of the cancer; whether the cancer is contained to the place it originated, or has spread to nearby tissues; whether or not the cancer has spread to lymph nodes and if so, their number and location, and; whether or not the cancer has spread throughout the body to distant organs.

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About this article

Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 06 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 642 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Cancer


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