Cancer by Type


Cancer is a group of over 100 diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells, which if not controlled can result in death. 86% of all cancers in the US are diagnosed in people 50 years or older.


A cancer is always referred to by the stage it was given at diagnosis, even if it gets worse or spreads. New information about how a cancer has changed over time gets added onto the original stage. So, the stage doesn’t change, even though the cancer might. Learn more on our blog post, The ABCs and 123s of Cancer Stages.

  • Stage 0: Abnormal cells are present but have not spread to nearby tissue. Also called carcinoma in situ, or CIS. CIS is not cancer, but it may become cancer.
  • Stage I, Stage II, and Stage III: Cancer is present. The higher the number, the larger the cancer tumor and the more it has spread into nearby tissues.
  • Stage IV: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body.



Lifetime Risk:

  • The probability an individual will develop and die from cancer over a lifetime.
  • US Men: 1 in 2 lifetime risk (42%)
  • US Women: 1 in 3 lifetime risk (38%)

Relative Risk:

  • Measure of strength between risk factors and a particular cancer.
  • Smokers: 25 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.
  • Females with first-degree relative with breast cancer twice as likely of developing breast cancer.