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:
|| Estimated New Cases||
|Breast (Female -- Male)||
182,460 -- 1,990||
40,480 -- 450 |
|Colon and Rectal (Combined)||
|Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer
Lung (Including Bronchus)||
American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2008. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2008.
Also available online. Last accessed February 20, 2008.
Lipworth L, Tarone RE, McLaughlin JK: The epidemiology of renal cell carcinoma. Journal of Urology 176(6 pt 1):2353-2358, 2006. [PUBMED Abstract]