This paper presents qualitative analysis of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy application for cancer diagnosis by measurement of the optical properties and spectral characteristics of cancer cells. For this purpose, the cultivation of two cancer cells, U-251 (glioblastoma brain) and A549 (lung adenocarcinoma), were carried out, then their refractive index, absorption coefficient and dielectric constant were measured, and the optical properties of tumor cells were compared with the optical properties of healthy cells (fibroblasts). Tumor cells contain more OH-components in comparison with healthy cells. Since terahertz radiation is heavily absorbed by water, there are differences in the spectra of healthy and oncological cells. To obtain the optical properties and spectral characteristics of the researched objects, a terahertz time-domain spectroscopy method in the transmission mode was used. The researched cell lines were cultured in vitro. Optical properties and spectral characteristics of the samples were calculated by the thin film method and Fourier transform. The results show the differences of refractive index, absorption coefficient and dielectric permittivity between the oncological cell lines U- 251, A549 and the healthy cells in the frequency range 0.2-1 THz. It was found that cancer cells have higher values of refractive indices and absorption coefficients than those of healthy cells. Brain glioblastoma (U-251) has a transmission peak at the frequency of 0.24 THz. The results obtained in this work can form the basis for the diagnosis of brain and lung cancer with the use of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy.