This page is an outlined summary of the major classifications of cancer, with some sub-classifications. You will note, that rarer forms of cancers are listed in more detail. That is because of the overall nature of this site. If you see (or dont see) a cancer that should be excluded (or included) as a major category, please let me know.
Carcinoma arises in epithelial tissue of the skin and mucous membranes in organs, glands, lungs, urinary bladder, nerves, etc. The nomenclature used for carcinomas, are usually based on the location where the primary tumor was found (ie. breast, prostate, etc.) It is the most common major group of cancers. Some subcategories of carcinoma are:
Adenocarcinoma form on glandular epithelium, such as the lung, breast, prostate, ovary, or kidney.
Basal Cell Carcinoma arises in the small round cells of the outer layer of the skin
Carcinoma in Situ abnormal cell growth, stays within the area in which it started, does not spread.
Carcinoma of Unknown Primary undetermined primary site.
Squamous Cell arises on the skin and inner surfaces of the body.
Transitional Cell develops in the lining of the bladder, ureter, and renal pelvis.
Sarcoma arises from cells of the blood, bone marrow, and immune system (including lymph nodes). It is usually found in bone, muscle, cartilage, fat, and fibrous tissue. They include:
Angiosarcoma resemble blood or lymphatic tissue. It includes hemangiosarcoma and lymphangiosarcoma.
Alveolar Soft-Part Sarcoma very rare childhood sarcoma.
Chondrosarcoma arises in cells that form cartilage.
Epitheliod Sarcoma usually found in the hand or foot.
Ewings Sarcoma arises in soft tissue and bone.
Fibrosarcoma arises in fibrous tissues like tendons and ligaments. The cells are called histiocytes or fibrocytes.
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor arises in the connective tissue cells of the GI tract.
Kaposis Sarcoma develops from endothelial cells in the skin.
Leiomyosarcoma found in smooth involuntary muscle tissue.
Liposarcoma arises in the deep fatty tissue.
malignant schwannoma / Neurosarcoma/Neurofibrosarcoma arises in the peripheral nerves.
Mesenchymoma shows two or more sarcoma differentiations.
Osteosarcoma arises in the cells that form bones.
Rhabdomyosarcoma resembles developing skeletal muscle.
Synovial Cell Sarcoma resembles joint cells in structure.
Hematological arises from blood cell elements.
Leukemia originates in the blood-forming tissues of the body. Acute leukemia involves an overgrowth of very immature blood cells, chronic involves an overgrowth of mature blood cells.
» Acute Myelogeneous
» Acute Lymphoblastic (Lymphocytic)
» Chronic Lymphocytic
» Chronic Myelogenous
Lymphoma originating in the lymphatic system, affecting the bodys immune system.
» Hodgkins develops in white blood cells (disease fighting cells) and is caused by an overproduction of lymphoid cells.
» Non-Hodgkins all lymphomas other than Hodgkins. NHLs arise in B-cell, T-cell, from true histiocytes or undefined cells.
- High Grade very aggressive, progresses rapidly.
- Intermediate Grade neither indolent or aggressive, may be treated as high grade.
- Low Grade indolent in nature.
Myeloma usually referred to as multiple myeloma, it originates in the plasma cells of the bone marrow.
Mixed Type Certain types of cancer that do not belong to any single category. They include:
Brain and CNS cancers include:
» Astrocytoma involves the brain stem, cerebellum, cerebrum. May be pineal, anaplastic, diffuse, and non-infiltrating (pilocytic, subependymal).
» Choroid Plexus Carcinoma typically occurs in one of the lateral ventricles.
» Ependymoma includes well differentiated, myxopapillary, subependymoma, anaplastic, and ependymoblastoma.
» Germ Cell includes germinoma, teratoma, embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac, and choriocarcinoma.
» Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) grade IV, poorly differentiated astrocytoma.
» Glioma arises from the glia (supportive tissue). Includes brain stem, optic, astrocytic, and mixed cell.
» Hemangiopericytoma arises in the lining of the brain (meninges).
» Medulloblastoma usually found in children and young adults.
» Malignant Meningioma occurs in mostly middle aged women. Accounts for only 5% of meningiomas.
» Mixed oligoastrocytoma
» Neuroblastoma rapidly growing tumors.
» Neurocytoma, Central arises in the fluid cavities of the brain.
» Oligodendroglioma arises in oligodendrocytes, includes anaplastic, well differentiated and mixed cell.
» Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor most frequently occur in young children.
» Rhabdoid, Atypical Teratoid an aggressive entity, usually found in children.
Melanomas stems from the pigment-forming cells (melanin) of the skin.
» Acral Lentiginous occurs on the thickened skin of the feet and hands.
» Early usually considered a curable stage.
» Lentigo Maligna slow growing.
» Nodular most dangerous form.
» Superficial Spreading the commonest form of cancer.
Certain Gynecological Cancers
» Malignant Mullerian Mixed composed of adenocarcinoma and sarcoma cells.
» Mixed Adenosquamous Carcinoma has malignant glandular and squamous epithelial cells.