An Overview of the Most Common Types of Cancer in the U.S.

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• Skin cancer is the most common type in the U.S., with over 5 million cases diagnosed yearly, and is caused by excessive UV exposure.

• Breast cancer is the second most common type for women, and early detection is key. Doing self-checks or receiving regular mammograms can help detect it early.

• Lung cancer accounts for 27% of all cancer deaths, and smoking increases the risk significantly.

• Oral cancer affects 53,000 people each year in the U.S. and is caused by smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or HPV.

• Prostate cancer affects older men, and symptoms include difficulty urinating or blood in the urine/semen.

Cancer is a scary diagnosis, and unfortunately, it’s one that millions of people in the United States face each year. With over 100 different types of cancer, it’s essential to understand the most common forms so that you can be aware and take preventive measures for yourself and your family. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of cancer found in the U.S. today.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form in the United States, with over 5 million cases diagnosed yearly. The two main types are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which can be easily treated if caught early enough. Still, melanoma, which begins as an abnormal mole on your skin, can be more severe and requires immediate medical attention if found or suspected. Here are some ways to deal with skin cancer:

Reduce UV Exposure

One of the leading reasons why skin cancer occurs is due to excessive UV exposure. Make sure to limit your time in the sun, wear sunscreen and protective clothing, and seek shade whenever possible.

Avoid Tanning Beds

One of the most dangerous UV sources is tanning beds. These emit powerful UV rays that can significantly increase your risk of developing skin cancer. It’s best to avoid tanning beds altogether, but if you must use them, wear protective eyewear and limit your exposure as much as possible.

A daughter supporting woman with cancer

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women (rarely men). Breast cancer is often detected through mammograms or self-exams—early detection is vital to successful treatment! It’s also important to note that genetics play a role in breast cancer; if you have a family history, talk to your doctor about regular checkups and screenings. You can also do self-checks if you want to detect it early:


You can check your breasts in the shower or while lying down. Feel your body for any lumps or changes, and report anything unusual to your doctor. It’s also important to get regular mammograms as recommended by your physician.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer—it accounts for 27% of all deaths due to this illness—and smoking increases your risk significantly. There are two primary types: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). While both require prompt medical attention upon discovery, NSCLC has a higher survival rate than SCLC because it responds better to surgery or radiation therapy treatments. If you want to reduce your chances of lung cancer, avoid smoking!

Quit Smoking

Smoking can increase your risk of lung cancer dramatically. If you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Talk to your doctor about strategies and support groups to help you stop.

Jaw pain due to oral cancer

Oral Cancer

One of the less common forms of cancer is oral cancer. It’s estimated that 53,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. The most common risk factors include smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, but there is a growing body of evidence that suggests human papillomavirus (HPV) can also increase your chances as well.

Visit Your Dental Clinic

To reduce your risk of oral cancer, you must visit your dental clinic for regular checkups and cleanings. Your local dentist can look for any signs or symptoms and advise you on how to lower your risk. They can even provide a screening if you are at higher risk.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer primarily affects older men; its symptoms include difficulty urinating or blood in the urine/semen. As with any type of cancer, early detection improves chances for successful treatment, so men over 40 need regular screenings from their doctor.

Treatment options vary depending on severity but may range from lifestyle changes such as diet/exercise modifications to radiation therapy or hormone therapy depending on individual factors like age and health history.

Cancer comes in many forms, and each requires its own set of treatments and preventive measures. Knowing the most common types can help you stay aware of possible risks and take proactive steps to safeguard your health. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions about cancer prevention, screening, or treatment options.

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