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What Are the Different Types of Abdominal Cancers?

By C.B. Fox
Updated Jan 20, 2024
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Any of the organs in the abdomen can develop cancer. Some of the types of abdominal cancers, such as colorectal cancer and cervical cancer, are among the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer. Others, including renal cancer and liver cancer, are less prevalent. Some abdominal cancers are quite treatable and are often caught in their early stages, increasing a patient’s chances of successfully fighting off the cancer. Others may go undiagnosed until the cancer is terminal.

Cancers of the lower digestive system can all be considered types of abdominal cancers. Tumors can grow in the lining of the stomach and the intestines, and both areas are often difficult to treat. Stomach cancer, which is fairly common, is one of the more deadly forms of cancer. Colorectal cancer, which can form in the lower intestine or the colon, is the most frequently diagnosed form of abdominal cancer and is highly treatable if it is caught early.

Both the male and female reproductive organs can also develop various forms of abdominal cancer. In women, the cervix is the organ most likely to develop cancer, though the frequent screening performed on women in developed nations also makes it one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Other reproductive organs in the woman’s abdomen — the ovaries, uterus and vagina — can also develop tumors, though these are much less frequent. In men, the prostate, which is also in the lower abdomen, may develop one of the most frequently diagnosed forms of cancer.

The kidneys and bladder are also susceptible to forms of cancer. Renal cancer is one of the most serious of all abdominal cancers and is very difficult to treat. This form of cancer, though quite deadly and capable of affecting both children and adults, is also quite rare. Cancer of the bladder, also known as urothelial cancer, is also rare. When this type of cancer is caught early on, the prognosis is good; if it is undiscovered until late in Stage 3 or 4, most patients will die from the disease.

Other organs in the abdomen may also develop abdominal cancers. The liver is one of the most frequently affected organs, though liver cancer is often attributed to a history of alcohol abuse. The pancreas is another organ that is commonly afflicted with cancerous growths and carries a very poor prognosis for patients.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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