Cancer Types

There are more than 100 types of cancer. Types of cancer are usually named for the organs or tissues where the cancers form. For example, lung cancer starts in cells of the lung, and brain cancer starts in cells of the brain. Cancers also may be described by the type of cell that formed them, such as an epithelial cell or a squamous cell.

This list of common cancer types includes cancers that are diagnosed with the greatest frequency in the United States, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers:Bladder Cancer
Breast Cancer
Colon and Rectal Cancer
Endometrial Cancer
Kidney Cancer
LiverLung Cancer
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Pancreatic Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Thyroid Cancer

Cancer incidence and mortality statistics reported by the American Cancer Society1 and other resources were used to create the list. To qualify as a common cancer for the list, the estimated annual incidence for 2019 had to be 40,000 cases or more.

The most common type of cancer on the list is breast cancer, with 271,270 new cases expected in the United States in 2019. The next most common cancers are lung cancer and prostate cancer. 

Because colon and rectal cancers are often referred to as “colorectal cancers,” these two cancer types are combined for the list. For 2019, the estimated number of new cases of colon cancer and rectal cancer are 101,420 and 44,180, respectively, adding to a total of 145,600 new cases of colorectal cancer.

The following table gives the estimated numbers of new cases and deaths for each common cancer type:

Cancer TypeEstimated New CasesEstimated Deaths
Breast (Female – Male)268,600 – 2,67041,760 – 500
Colon and Rectal (Combined)145,60051,020
Kidney (Renal Cell and Renal Pelvis) Cancer73,82014,770
Leukemia (All Types)61,78022,840
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct42,03031,780
Lung (Including Bronchus)228,150142,670
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma74,20019,970


  1.  American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2019. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2019. Also available online. Last accessed February 5, 2019.
  • Updated: February 21, 2019