Types of cancer

By no means a single disease with a single treatment, there are over 200 types of cancer. Each type has its own name and treatment. Click on the links below to find out more about the cancers we treat at Harrogate District Hospital.


Anal cancer is a rare type of cancer that starts in the anus (this is the opening at the end of the bowel).


Bile Duct
Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) is rare, with around 1,000 new cases every year in the UK. It is almost always a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma, which starts in the lining of the bile duct.

Every year, about 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with bladder cancer. Of these, 8 out of 10 (80%) are diagnosed with early bladder cancer.

Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer.

There are two types of brain tumour. A primary brain tumour is a tumour that starts in the brain.
A secondary brain tumour is a tumour that has spread to the brain from somewhere else in the body.

Breast cancer is more common in women than men. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but it affects younger women also. Breast cancer is often thought of as something that only affects women, but men can get it in rare cases.


Cancer of unknown primary (CUP)
This is when a secondary cancer is diagnosed, but even after tests have been carried out, doctors can’t tell where the cancer first started. The primary cancer is unknown.

Every year, over 2,900 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK. It usually occurs in women over the age of 20. The highest rates occur between the ages of 30 to 39, but it can also affect younger and older women.


Gallbladder cancer is rare with just under 1,000 people are diagnosed with it in the UK each year. It is rare in people under 50 and is most common in people over 75. It is more common in women than men.


Head and neck
Head and neck cancer is a relatively uncommon type of cancer. Around 12,000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.


Kidney cancer is cancer that starts in the kidneys. It is sometimes called renal cancer. Every year, over 9,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with kidney cancer (renal cancer). It affects more men than women.


Leukaemia (sometimes spelt as leukemia) is a cancer of the blood cells. If you have leukaemia, your body makes some abnormal blood cells. These leukaemia cells behave differently from healthy blood cells.

Liver (primary)
Liver cancer is a cancer that starts in the liver. It is sometimes called primary liver cancer.

Liver (secondary)
A cancer that starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the liver is called secondary cancer in the liver.

Lung (primary)
Primary lung cancer is cancer that starts in the lung. There are a number of different types of primary lung cancer. The main types are small cell (SCLC) and non-small cell (NSCLC).

Lung (secondary)
If a cancer spreads to the lungs from another part of the body, this is known as secondary or metastatic lung cancer.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps protect us from infection and disease. It is part of the body’s immune system.


Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that develops from plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell made in the bone marrow.


Non-specific symptoms
Non-specific but concerning symptoms may indicate an underlying cancer. We are part of a national programme to find the quickest and most efficient way of investigating patients who present with non-specific symptoms.


The oesophagus is part of your digestive system and is also known as the food pipe or gullet. Around 9,000 people are diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in the UK each year.

Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women.


Pancreatic cancer is a cancer that starts in the pancreas. The pancreas is part of the digestive system. It makes digestive juices and various hormones, including insulin.

Penile cancer (cancer of the penis) is rare. Approximately 500 men are diagnosed with it in the UK every year. It is most often diagnosed in men between the ages of 50 and 70.

Prostate cancer generally affects men over 50 and is rare in younger men. It’s the most common type of cancer in men.


The skin is divided into two main layers. Skin cancer can develop in the different types of cells that make up these layers.

Around 7,000 people are diagnosed with stomach (gastric) cancer in the UK each year. Stomach cancer can start anywhere inside the stomach or stomach wall. 


Testicular cancer starts in one of the testicles (also called the testes). It is more common in white men and younger to middle-aged men. Testicular cancer is usually curable. 


Cancers that start in the vagina (primary vaginal cancer) are rare, especially in women under 40. Fewer than 300 women are diagnosed with this type of cancer in the UK each year.

Cancer of the vulva (sometimes called Vulvar cancer) is a rare type of cancer that affects women.


Womb (endometrial)
Cancer of the womb (uterine or endometrial cancer) is a common cancer that affects the female reproductive system. It’s more common in women who have been through the menopause.