Types of Cancer

Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is usually one of the following types, which are named for the type of cell where they develop.

The most common types of cervical cancer are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma (cancer): This is the main type of cervical cancer and is found in 80% to 90% of cases. It develops in the lining of the cervix.
  • Mixed carcinoma (cancer): Occasionally, cervical cancer has features of squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma develops in gland cells that produce cervical mucus. About 10% to 20% of cervical cancers are adenocarcinomas.
  • In rare instances, other types of cancer, such as neuroendocrine (small cell/large cell cervical cancer), melanoma, sarcoma and lymphoma, are found in the cervix.

Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is classified by the type of cells within the tumor. Each type of lung cancer grows and is treated in a different way. Lung cancers are divided into two main groups.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): This is the most common type of lung cancer. The categories of non-small cell lung cancer are named for the type of cells in the cancer:

  • Adenocarcinoma begins in cells that line the alveoli and make mucus. It is found more often in nonsmokers, women and younger people.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) begins in thin, flat cells in the lungs, and tobacco smoking most often causes it. It also is called epidermoid carcinoma.
  • Large cell carcinoma (cancer) begins in certain types of large cells in the lungs.

Small cell lung cancer: Also known as oat-cell cancer, this type of lung cancer makes up less than 20% of lung cancers and almost always is caused by tobacco smoking. It often starts in the bronchi, then quickly grows and spreads to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes.

Less common types of lung cancer include:

  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Salivary gland carcinoma
  • Some sarcomas
  • Cancer of unknown primary