Types of Cancer

Our highly trained care teams treat all types of cancers, including these most common cancers in the United States. Click on each type to visit the American Cancer Society and get more information:

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer can sometimes be found early because it causes blood in the urine or other urinary symptoms. Those symptoms could be caused by other things, but should be checked by a doctor so the cause can be found. To test for bladder cancer, your doctor may have you submit a urine sample, or perform a rectal or pelvic exam. Learn more.

Blood Cancers

Blood cancers affect production and functions of blood cells and include Leukemias, Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas and Multiple Myeloma. Most cancers of the blood begin in the bone marrow where blood is produced, and the normal blood cell development process is interrupted by uncontrolled growth of an abnormal type of blood cell. These abnormal or cancerous blood cells prevent blood from performing many of its functions, like fighting off infections or preventing serious bleeding. Learn more about blood cancers including Leukemias, Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas and Multiple Myeloma.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast grow out of control. The cells often form a tumor that can sometimes be felt as a lump or seen on an x-ray. If the cells can invade surrounding breast tissues and spread to other areas of the body - which is also called metastasizing - the tumor is considered malignant. Malignant tumors are cancerous. If the tumor is diagnosed as benign, it is not cancerous. Although this type of cancer occurs almost entirely in women, men can get breast cancer, too.

Breast cancer can be treated in several ways, depending on its type and stage. Typically, surgery and/or radiation therapy are used. If your care team does determine that surgery is the best option to remove your cancer, ask about BRG’s Hidden Scar Surgery - an advanced approach to removing breast cancer with an incision in a location that is hard to see. Learn more about breast cancer.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, has seen vast improvements in prevention, early detection, and treatment, and now has more than a million survivors in the US. Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or the rectum. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common. Learn more.

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer begins when cells in the inner lining of the uterus grow out of control. Some symptoms like unusual bleeding, spotting, other discharge, pelvic pain, a mass, and weight loss point to endometrial cancer, but they are more common as the cancer becomes advanced. Learn more.

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is also called renal cancer, and is one of the ten most common cancers. Early kidney cancers do not usually cause any signs or symptoms, but larger ones might. Possible symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Low back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
  • A mass (lump) on the side or lower back
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss not caused by dieting
  • Fever not caused by an infection and that doesn’t go away
  • Anemia (low red blood cell counts)

These signs can be caused by cancer, but can be from other less serious diseases. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

If your doctor tests you for kidney or renal cancer, you may have a, lab test, urine analysis, complete blood test or other imaging test.

If your doctor does find cancer, he will work with your cancer care team to discuss treatment options with you, including IL-2 treatment, which is a form of injection therapy administered by IV infusion that our cancer team is regionally known for. Learn more about kidney and renal cancer.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is usually diagnosed into one of three main types: non-small cell, small cell, and lung carcinoid. Which type of lung cancer you have affects treatment options and outlook.

Some early lung cancer symptoms are:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored spit
  • Chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Infections like bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
  • New onset of wheezing

When lung cancer spreads to distant organs, it may cause:

  • Bone pain (like pain in the back or hips)
  • Nervous system changes (such as headache, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures), from cancer spread to the brain or spinal cord
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), from cancer spread to the liver
  • Lumps near the surface of the body, due to cancer spreading to the skin or to lymph nodes (collections of immune system cells), such as those in the neck or above the collarbone

These symptoms are likely to be caused by something other than lung cancer, but if you have any of these issues, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed. Learn more about lung cancer.

Melanoma

Melanoma is a skin cancer that usually starts in a certain type of skin cell in the top layer of the skin- squamous, basal or melanocytes:

  • Squamous cells are flat and in the outer part of the epidermis. They constantly shed as new ones form.
  • Basal cells are in the lower part of the epidermis, called the basal cell layer. They constantly divide to form new cells to replace the squamous cells that wear off the skin’s surface. As these cells move up in the epidermis, they get flatter, eventually becoming squamous cells.
  • Melanocytes cells can become melanoma. They make a brown pigment called melanin, which gives the skin its tan or brown color. Melanin protects the deeper layers of the skin from some of the harmful effects of the sun. For most people, when skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes make more of the pigment, causing the skin to tan or darken.

Melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin but are more likely to start on the chest and back in men and on the legs in women. Other common places are the neck and face.

If your doctor does find cancer, he will work with your cancer care team to discuss treatment options with you, including IL-2 treatment, which is a form of injection therapy administered by IV infusion that our cancer team is regionally known for.

Learn more about skin cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer happens when cells in the pancreas grow out of control. The pancreas is an organ that sits behind the stomach, and its exocrine and endocrine cells form different types of tumors, which have distinct risk factors and causes, different signs and symptoms. They are also diagnosed with different tests, treated in different ways, and have different outlooks.

Often, people who have early pancreatic cancers do not show signs or symptoms. By the time the cancer does cause symptoms, it has spread outside the pancreas.

Some signs are:

  • Jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin.
  • Dark urine that becomes brown.
  • Light-colored or greasy stools.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Belly or back pain.
  • Weight loss and poor appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gallbladder or liver enlargement
  • Blood clots
  • Fatty tissue abnormalities

Depending on the cancer, treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other drugs and treatments. Sometimes, the best treatment plan could include than one type of option. An important part of treatment for many patients is pain control. Learn more about pancreatic cancer.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men after skin cancer, begins when cells in the prostate gland grow uncontrollably. This cancer has a high success rate of treatment.

The prostate is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum, and is a gland only found in males that makes some of the fluid found in semen. With age, the size of the prostate changes. In younger men, it is about the size of a walnut, but it can be much larger in older men.

Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, or they develop from the gland cells that make the prostate fluid in semen. If you have prostate cancer, it is almost sure to be this type.

Other, rarer types of prostate cancer include:

  • Sarcomas
  • Small cell carcinomas
  • Neuroendocrine tumors (other than small cell carcinomas)
  • Transitional cell carcinomas

Some cancers of the prostate grow and spread quickly, but most grow slowly. Autopsies show that many older men who died of other causes had prostate cancer that did not affect them during life. Most often, they and their doctors did not know they had it.

Prostate cancer treatment options could include:

  • Active observation
  • Bone-directed treatment
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cryotherapy (cryosurgery)
  • Hormone therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Vaccine treatment

While treatments are typically used one at a time, your healthcare provider may talk with you about combining them if necessary. Learn more.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer begins in the thyroid gland, which is located below the Adam’s apple in the front part of the neck. Most people cannot see or feel their thyroid. A variety of growths and tumors can develop in the thyroid gland. Most are benign, or non-cancerous, but others are malignant, or cancerous. Malignant or cancerous tumors can spread into tissues near the cancer site and to other areas.

The main types of thyroid cancer are:

  • Differentiated, including papillary, follicular and Há¹»rthle cell
  • Medullary
  • Anaplastic (an aggressive undifferentiated tumor)
  • Differentiated thyroid cancers

The most common type of thyroid cancer is differentiated cancer, where under a microscope, the cells have the appearance of normal thyroid tissue.

Some symptoms of thyroid cancer could be:

  • A lump in the neck, often fast-growing
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears
  • Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • A constant cough not as a result of a cold

These symptoms can occur in cases that are not cancerous, but if you have any of these signs or symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.

If your doctor discovers thyroid cancer, your healthcare team will talk with you about treatment options. Some treatments for thyroid cancer could include:

  • Surgery
  • Radioactive iodine treatment
  • Thyroid hormone therapy
  • External beam radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

Many time, two or more of these options are used to treat thyroid cancers. Most instances can be cured, but if the cancer can’t be cured, the treatment should destroy as much of the cancer as possible and keep it from growing or spreading. Your healthcare team’s goal for your treatment may be to relieve any symptoms you’re having, like pain or trouble breathing and swallowing.

Learn more about thyroid cancer.