Cancers are grouped according to the type of cell that they start in. There are five main types of cancer: carcinoma, sarcoma, leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and brain and spinal cord cancers.
Carcinomas are cancers that develop in the skin, or in the tissues that surround the internal organs.
Sarcomas are cancers that grow in the connective or supportive tissues within the body. They may develop in bones, cartilage, fat and muscle.
Leukaemia is cancer that begins in the blood-forming tissues within the body, commonly the bone marrow. It causes the body to produce abnormal blood cells that enter the bloodstream.
Lymphoma and myeloma
Lymphomas are a form of cancer that starts in the cells that fight infections in the body’s immune system.
Brain and spinal cord cancers
Known medically as central nervous system cancers, brain and spinal cord cancers are caused by abnormal growth of tissue inside the skull or spinal column.