Common Cancers


There are around 200 types of cancer, mainly depending on the cell type involved. The most common cancers are not necessarily the ones that most people die from. The most common cancer by far is skin cancer, but it is one of the least aggressive, most easily cured and least feared. In fact, it is so harmless and generally non-invasive that skin cancers of the basal cells or squamous cells are generally not collected in cancer statistics. The estimate is around 1 million each year in the USA. Only the rarer type of skin cancer called a melanoma is dangerous and tracked more carefully.

The most common USA cancers in 2001 according to ACS statistics are:



Total of 1,268,000 estimated new cancer cases in 2001 in the USA. And there are about 553,400 cancer deaths in 2001, either from existing cancers or from these new 2001 cases.

The types of cancer that cause the most deaths are, starting with the worst:

Childhood cancers in 2001: total 8,600 cases of cancer for aged 0-14 in 2001 and 1,500 deaths, compared to 1,268,000 cases of cancer for all ages, so children make up less than 1% of cancers. Cancer is the highest cause of deaths for children 1-14 (i.e. all but the first year after birth).


  • Cancer Facts and Figures 2001, American Cancer Society.

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