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Rare cancers are those that affect fewer than 15 in 100,000 Americans per year. This translates to approximately 45,000 cases or fewer each year in the US. As a comparison, there are more than five million new skin cancer cases, about 247,000 new breast cancer cases, and about 225,000 new lung cancer cases each year.
Call 855.970.2527 or use our online tool to Find a Doctor at Dignity Health who specializes in diagnosing and treating rare cancers in Arizona. The University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph's is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center headquartered in Arizona. We also offer cancer care at our Chandler Regional Medical Center location.
There are hundreds of rare cancers. Some examples include:
Signs and symptoms of rare cancers depend on the specific cancer and the organ or gland it affects. Some, such as testicular and penile cancer, can have obvious symptoms, including a lump you can feel or swelling. Others, such as gallbladder cancer and pancreatic cancer, most often have no early symptoms. These cancers tend to be quite advanced at the time of diagnosis. That’s why it’s important to carefully explain any family history of cancer. It can help jumpstart your doctor’s search for a possible malignancy.
At Dignity Health, we treat the whole person, not just the cancer. Your care team includes board-certified medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons, as well as social workers, pharmacists, dietitians, and spiritual care experts. Cancer resources, such as support groups and counseling, are available to both you and your family members.
Treatment options also depend on the specific type of rare cancer. In addition, treatment plans will depend on the stage of the cancer. Common cancer treatments include: