Cancers are named after the part of the body where they start. A secondary cancer is still labelled as the original cancer, even though it has moved to a different spot.

  • Bone
  • Breast
  • Central nervous system (brain, meninges, spinal cord)
  • Gynaecological (ovaries, cervix, uterus, vulva, vagina, endometrium)
  • Head and neck (tongue, mouth, salivary glands, oropharynx, nasopharynx, nasal cavity and larynx)
  • Leukaemia (bone marrow)
  • Lower gastro-intestinal (colorectal or bowel)
  • Lung
  • Lymphoma (lymphatic system)
  • Prostate
  • Renal and urinary tract (kidney, bladder, urethra, renal pelvis)
  • Skin
  • Testicular
  • Unknown primary site
  • Upper gastro-intestinal (oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder and pancreas)

The five most common cancer sites in Australia are: prostate, colorectal, breast, melanoma and lung cancer.


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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015