The most common type of cancer women and men both can have is basal or squamous cell skin cancer. These tend not to be fatal, though some percentage of people with a basal or squamous cell cancer will at a later point develop melanomas. In considering how common a cancer is, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) leaves out the above two cancers.
The CDC addresses common cancer by looking at incidence rates. There are separate lists for men and women, since women and men have separate body parts. For example, a woman doesn't have a prostate and a man doesn't have a uterus or cervix. Other statistics in determining common cancers include race and age, as well as region. These factors are of value when evaluating risk for cancer. Behavior must also be taken into account since certain high risk behaviors like alcoholism and smoking increase one’s risk for certain forms of cancer, particularly cancer of the lungs and liver.
The statistics listed here are the total statistics for common cancers. This means that race, behavior and location are not taken into account. Gender is taken into account for the above-mentioned reasons. These statistics do not include basal or squamous cell cancer.
For men the most common type of cancer is prostate cancer, with an incidence of .16%. Second in line, and actually most deadly is lung cancer, occurring in .088% of each group of 100,000 men. Cancer of the colon/rectum follows with an incidence of .0627%. Cancer of the bladder affects .0369% of the general male population. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma affects .0217%.
The sixth most common cancer for men is melanoma occurring in about .0198% of the male adult population. Kidney cancer occurs in about .0173% of the population. Pharynx and throat cancer affects about .0173% of all men. Leukemia develops in .0148% of males. The tenth most common cancer is cancer of the pancreas with a .0123% rate of occurrence.
In women the most common type of cancer is breast cancer, with a .1272% of occurrence in women of all age and racial groups. Second is cancer of the lungs affecting .0532% of women. Colon and rectal cancer is the third most common cancer, occurring in about .0458% of the female population. Uterine cancer affects .0229% of women. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is the fifth most common, with an incidence rate of .0154%.
Ovarian cancer is estimated to affect .0134% of women, and melanoma will affect by .013%. Cancer of the thyroid gland occurs in .0117% of the female population. Cancer of miscellaneous cause is the ninth most common form of cancer with a .01% occurrence rate. Leukemia is the tenth most common cancer in women, occurring in about .009% of women.