Types of cancer

Cancer develops when cells in a part of the body start to grow in an abnormal way. Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth and the cells can also invade (grow into) other tissues.

A group of cells can form a solid tumour anywhere in the body, for example in bones or the brain. Benign tumours do not spread, whereas malignant tumours can spread to other parts of the body.

Leukaemic cancers occur when the blood cells divide and multiply abnormally. The most common types of leukaemia are Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).

When cells of the lymphatic system divide or multiply abnormally, this is called Lymphoma. This can result in lumps in the lymph glands, which are found in the neck, groin, axilla and throughout the body.

Cancers are classified by their grade (how abnormal or differentiated the cancer cells look microscopically) and on their stage (the extent of how far the cancer cells have spread).

Listed below are some of the main types of cancer that affect children, teenagers and young adults:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
  • Bone cancer
  • Brain tumours
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Malignant melanoma (skin cancer)
  • Non–Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcomas
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

For more information on types of cancer click here.