Common Cancer Types

This list of common cancer types includes cancers that are diagnosed with the greatest frequency in the United States, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers:

Bladder Cancer
Breast Cancer Mela

Lung Cancer


Colon and Rectal Cancer Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Endometrial Cancer Pancreatic Cancer
Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer Prostate Cancer
Leukemia Thyroid Cancer

Cancer incidence and mortality statistics reported by the American Cancer Society1 and other resources were used to create the list. To qualify as a common cancer, the estimated annual incidence for 2010 had to be 40,000 cases or more.

The most common type of cancer on the list is lung cancer, with more than 222,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2010. The cancer with the lowest incidence is leukemia. 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 43,050 new cases of leukemia will be diagnosed in the United States in 2010, with chronic lymphocytic leukemia being the most common type (approximately 14,990 new cases).

Because colon and rectal cancers are often referred to as “colorectal cancers,” these two cancer types are combined for the list. For 2010, the estimated number of new cases of colon cancer and rectal cancer are 102,900 and 39,670, respectively, adding to a total of 142,570 new cases of colorectal cancer.

Kidney cancers can be divided into two major groups, renal parenchyma cancers and renal pelvis cancers. Approximately 92 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 2010 is 53,581.

The following table gives the estimated numbers of new cases and deaths for each common cancer type:

Cancer Type Estimated New Cases Estimated Deaths
Bladder 70,530 14,680
Breast (Female – Male) 207,090 – 1,970 39,840 – 390
Colon and Rectal (Combined) 142,570 51,370
Endometrial 43,470 7,950
Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer 53,581 11,997
Leukemia 43,050 21,840
Lung (Including Bronchus) 222,520 157,300
Melanoma 68,130 8,700
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 65,540 20,210
Pancreatic 43,140 36,800
Prostate 217,730 32,050
Thyroid 44,670 1,690


  1. American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2010. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2010. Also available online (PDF – 1543 KB). Last accessed July 15, 2010.
  2. Chow W-H, Dong LM, and Devesa SS: Epidemiology and risk factors for kidney cancer. Nature Reviews Urology 7(5):245-257, 2010. [PUBMED Abstract]