How Many Types Of Cancer Are There?

Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the 21st century, and affects so many of us. There are a large variety of strains and many different types which exist. Some people can be born with genes which due to hereditary are carrying the cells from birth, whereas other people can develop the disease as they grow older. There really is no knowing when it comes to cancer and just about anyone is at risk of developing it.

With the right diet in place and by executing careful behaviours, some cancers can be prevented. However it generally depends on your lifestyle or if you are born with it already.

According to Cancer Research UK, there are more than 200 different types of cancer which range from the blood to the outside body. Our bodies are composed of thousands if not millions of cells, and they are so small they can only be seen under a microscope. In order to gain a better understanding of these cancer types, they are often split into five groups, which are known as carcinoma, sarcoma, leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. These will be briefly discussed below:


Cancer that is carcinoma is one that begins in the skin – on the outside of the body, and on tissues which cover the internal organs on the inside of the body. Therefore they can line the digestive system, stomach, lungs, kidneys, liver and other areas such as the chest are also known. When it comes to cancer, the carcinomas are probably the most common type, and known to make up 85% of UK cancers.


Sarcoma are the cancers which develop in the bone, muscle, nerves, cartilage, blood vessels, tendons and fatty tissues. This type is most commonly known to affect the stomach, legs and arms.

In women, gynaecological sarcomas are those which develop in the female reproductive system. This means the uterus, ovaries, vagina, vulva and fallopian tubes. Cancer of the cervix is therefore an example of a gynaecological sarcoma.


Leukaemia is known as the cancer of the blood cells and is the condition where bone marrow makes far too many white blood cells. Due to not being fully formed, they no longer work properly as they should and this therefore leads to a build up of abnormal cells in the blood.

Lymphoma and Myeloma

Lymphoma is the cancer which develops from the cells in the lymphatic system which runs throughout the whole body, meaning this strain of cancer can develop almost anywhere. It happens when white blood cells abnormally divide and don’t die which means they are left and cannot easily fight infection, leaving room for cancers to develop. The leftover abnormal cells start collecting around the body and form into tumours.

Myeloma on the other hand is a cancer which forms in the plasma cells. These are cells which are present in bone marrow, and when they become abnormal, they start to multiply and fail to fight infection as they only produce one antibody which doesn’t fully protect.

 Brain and Spinal cord cancers

A more common type of cancer is one which can start in the cells of the brain and spinal cord. The brain and spinal cord are extremely important when it comes to transmitting messages around the body. They are also connected to the body’s central nervous system which is made up of many cells called neurones. Tumours can develop in the brain at a very slow pace, often benign to start with, whereas others can grow faster and are more likely to spread.

There are such a large variety of cancers out there, and it is important to read up and make sure you are aware of every type. This is especially important when it comes to diagnosis as it can often be possible that they are wrong. In order to make sure this doesn’t ever happen to you, it is better to become more aware of the different cancers out there as well as their symptoms so that next time you feel worried you can put your mind at rest and understand how to best prevent any further cancers from developing in the future.