Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases. It can develop almost anywhere in the body.
Doctors divide the disease into types based on where it begins. Four main types:
- Carcinomas. A carcinoma begins in the skin or the tissue that covers the surface of internal organs and glands. Carcinomas usually form solid tumors. They are the most common type of cancer. Examples of carcinomas include prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancer.
- Sarcomas. A sarcoma begins in the tissues that support and connect the body. A sarcoma can develop in fat, muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, lymph vessels, cartilage, or bone.
- Leukemias. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. Leukemia begins when healthy blood cells change and grow uncontrollably. The 4 main types of leukemia are acute lymphocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia.
- Lymphomas. Lymphoma is a cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and glands that help fight infection. There are 2 main types of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Often, a diagnosis begins when a person visits a doctor about an unusual symptom. The doctor will talk with the person about his or her medical history and symptoms. Then the doctor will do various tests to find out the cause of these symptoms.
But many people with cancer have no symptoms. For these people, it is diagnosed during a medical test for another issue or condition.
Alternative treatments may not play a direct role in curing your cancer, but they may help you cope with signs and symptoms caused by the disease and treatments. Common signs and symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, difficulty sleeping, and stress may be lessened by alternative treatments.
Integrating the best of evidence-based complementary and alternative cancer treatments with the treatments you receive from your doctor may help relieve many of the symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment.