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    Updated: 02/21/2008
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Women's Cancers
Bladder Cancer     Melanoma
Breast Cancer     Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Colon and Rectal Cancer     Pancreatic Cancer
Endometrial Cancer     Prostate Cancer
Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer     Skin Cancer (Nonmelanoma)
Leukemia     Thyroid Cancer
Lung Cancer    

The list of common cancer types includes cancers that are diagnosed with the greatest frequency in the United States. Cancer incidence statistics from the American Cancer Society1 and other resources were used to create the list. To qualify as a common cancer, the estimated annual incidence for 2008 had to be 35,000 cases or more.

The most common type of cancer on the list is nonmelanoma skin cancer, with more than 1,000,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2008. Nonmelanoma skin cancers represent about half of all cancers diagnosed in this country.

The cancer on the list with the lowest incidence is thyroid cancer. The estimated number of new cases of thyroid cancer for 2008 is 37,340.

Because colon and rectal cancers are often referred to as "colorectal cancers," these two cancer types were combined for the list. For 2008, the estimated number of new cases of colon cancer is 108,070, and the estimated number of new cases of rectal cancer is 40,740.

Kidney cancers can be divided into two major groups, renal parenchyma cancers and renal pelvis cancers. Approximately 85 percent of kidney cancers develop in the renal parenchyma,2 and nearly all of these cancers are renal cell cancers. The estimated number of new cases of renal cell cancer for 2008 is 46,232.

Leukemia as a cancer type includes acute lymphoblastic (or lymphoid) leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myelogenous (or myeloid) leukemia, and other forms of leukemia. It is estimated that more than 44,270 new cases of leukemia will be diagnosed in the United States in 2008, with chronic lymphocytic leukemia being the most common type (approximately 15,110 new cases).

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

Cancer Type Estimated New Cases Estimated Deaths
Bladder 68,810 14,100
Breast (Female -- Male) 182,460 -- 1,990 40,480 -- 450
Colon and Rectal (Combined) 148,810 49,960
Endometrial 40,100 7,470
Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer 46,232 11,059
Leukemia (All) 44,270 21,710
Lung (Including Bronchus) 215,020 161,840
Melanoma 62,480 8,420
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 66,120 19,160
Pancreatic 37,680 34,290
Prostate 186,320 28,660
Skin (Nonmelanoma) >1,000,000 <1,000
Thyroid 37,340 1,590


  1. American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2008. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2008. Also available online. Last accessed February 20, 2008.
  2. Lipworth L, Tarone RE, McLaughlin JK: The epidemiology of renal cell carcinoma. Journal of Urology 176(6 pt 1):2353-2358, 2006. [PUBMED Abstract]

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