There are 76 different types of childhood cancers [1] in total. These types can be grouped into 12 broad categories.

These categories include: Leukaemias, brain and spinal tumours, lymphoma, soft tissue sarcomas, neuroblastoma, renal tumours, bone tumours, germ cell tumours, retinoblastomas, other carcinomas and melanomas, liver tumours and others.



Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer in the UK forming 30% of cases.

Brain and spinal tumours are the second most common diagnosis forming 27% of cases.

​Solid tumours form 60% of cases of childhood cancers, therefore a GP is  more likely to see a child with a solid tumour than a child with leukaemia.

This is why it is so important for clinicians and parents to be aware of the symptoms and signs.


Types of childhood cancer


Brain tumours


Soft tissue tumours

Bone Tumours


Renal tumours

Germ cell tumours

Other carcinomas and melanomas


    Liver tumours


    Malignant rhabdoid tumours (included in others)


    If you are concerned that your child or a child you know may have cancer, please see here.



    [1] Data used was calculated by the Cancer Intelligence Team at Cancer Research UK, August 2019. Based on International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) International Incidence of Childhood Cancer, UK 2000-2011 (available from, accessed August 2019) and Public Health England (PHE) Number of newly diagnosed cancers registered among children under 15 years of age and resident in England 2001 to 2015 (available from, accessed August 2019)