Cancer is not just one disease, but rather a group of more than 100 different diseases that is caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body.

How Cancer Begins?

Cancer develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. Under healthy conditions, new cells form and replace old cells that wear out or have become damaged.

Cancer begins to form when old cells do not die and instead grow out of control, forming new, abnormal cells. These extra cells may form a mass of tissue, called a tumor. Some cancers, such as leukemia do not form tumors.

As a cancerous tumor grows, the bloodstream or lymphatic system may carry cancer cells to other parts of the body. During this process, known as metastasis, the cancer cells grow and may develop into new tumors. The most common sites of metastasis are the bones, brain, liver and lungs.

What Are the Most Common Forms of Cancer?

Cancer may occur anywhere in the body. Below are the 5 most common sites affecting men and women in the U.S.

NFCR is Attacking Cancer Head On

There’s a paradigm shift taking place: We’re moving from an organ-focused (type of cancer) approach to a gene-focused approach (cancer genomics). This shift is already having a profound effect on the way cancer is treated and allows doctors to provide more individualized options for patients (also known as precision medicine). NFCR has distinguished itself from other organizations by emphasizing long-term, transformative research and working to move people toward cancer genomics. NFCR support of laboratories and dozens of scientists over the past 43 years has helped make possible cancer treatments that are saving lives today and in the future.


Learn more about the various types of cancer. While we attempt to provide you with the most complete and accurate information out there today, always consult your physician on what is the best practice for you and your loved ones.


Cancer research breakthroughs are constantly leading to new prevention and early detection tools. In this section, you will find tips to lower your risk of cancer, as well as information on various screenings that help catch cancer at its earliest stages when it’s most treatable. While we attempt to provide you with the most complete and accurate information, we kindly remind you to always consult your physician on best practices for you personally.