There are many different types of cancer. Several factors, including location and how the cancerous cells appear under the microscope, determine how cancer is diagnosed. For example, there are several forms of breast cancer, classified according to where the tumours originate within the breast, and their tendency to spread to surrounding organs and tissue.
All cancers fall into one of four broad categories:
- Carcinomas are tumours that arise in the tissues that line the body’s organs
- Sarcomas are tumours that originate in bone, muscle, cartilage, fibrous tissue or fat
- Leukaemia is cancers of the blood or blood-forming organs
- Lymphomas affect the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and nodes that acts as the body’s filter.