Top 10 Types of Cancer
Cancer. Who would have ever thought it could be so common? Statistics show that half
of all menand one-third of all women in the United States will develop cancer during
their lifetimes. This equates to approximately 11.7 million people in the United States
alive today who have had some type of cancer.
Survival rates vary based on the individual’s health and the type of cancer. It can be
helpful to be aware of some of the more common cancers for two reasons: 1) to realize
we are not alone in this health challenge and 2) to learn that we have resources to
help us deal with, battle, and survive these diseases.
The top ten most common types of cancer diagnosed in the United States, based on
number of estimated cases, are listed below. This data is derived from the American
Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts Report for 2011. This list EXCLUDES the more than
estimated 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancers. These are difficult to track
because they are not required to be reported on cancer registries.
The top 10 most common types of cancer, listed in order of
number of estimated new cases for 2011:
prostate cancer
First on the list is prostate cancer, with an estimated 240,890 new cases anticipated for
2011, and is the most common cancer affecting men. This cancer starts with a tumor
located in the prostate gland in men, which is part of the reproductive system.
breast cancer
Secondly, breast cancer reports an estimated 230,480 cases for women this year plus an
additional 2,140 cases for men. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.
lung cancer
Third, with 221,130 estimated cases, is lung cancer. There are two primary classifications
of lung cancer: small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.
colorectal cancer
Fourth on the list is colorectal cancer, with a combined number of 141,210 cases for
colon or rectal cancer types. Both these organs are a part of the large intestine in the
digestive system.
Fifth is melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer. There are 70,230 cases expected for
2011. This type of cancer forms in the skin’s melanocyte cells, which produce brown
pigment in the skin. It frequently begins in moles but may also be found in other
pigmented parts of the body.
bladder cancer
Sixth is bladder cancer with an estimated 69,250 cases. There are several types of
bladder cancer, the most common being urothelial carcinoma (formerly called transitional
cell carcinoma). Bladder cancer incidence is four times higher in men than in women.
non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
Seventh on the list is Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with an estimated 66,360 new cases for
2011. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, or white blood cells, and is classified as
Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin. There are a variety of subcategories of non-Hodgkin’s
kidney cancer
Eighth is kidney cancer, with 56,046 anticipated cases this year. These can be divided
into two major subcategories: renal cell carcinoma (most common) and renal pelvis
carcinoma, as well as a small number of cases of Wilms tumor, a type of childhood
thyroid cancer
Ninth on the list of common cancers in the United States is thyroid cancer, with an
estimated 48,020 new cases for 2011, with three-fourths of these cases occurring in
women. This cancer begins in the thyroid gland, which is part of the body’s endocrine
system. Thyroid cancer is the fastest-increasing cancer in both men and women.
endometrial cancer
Tenth is endometrial cancer, with 46,470 anticipated new cases predicted for 2011. This
cancer type forms in the tissue lining the uterus.
*Special mention should also be made to leukemia, which forms inside the bone marrow,
with an estimated 44,600 cases and pancreatic cancer, with 44,030.
Information regarding specific cancer types can be found on this website in the
educational section, and also at the National Cancer Institute site, American Cancer
Society site, or this site from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Top 10 Types of Cancer