Lung Cancer Types & Treatments

Lung cancer is divided into two main types:
non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC)
lungxray

NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents approximately 85 – 90% of lung cancer diagnoses. Each of the three main types of NSCLC develops differently in the lung. The three main types of NSCLC are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma, all of which are described below.

Symptoms of NSCLC
If you have any of the symptoms below, discuss them with your doctor right away.

  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • A persistent cough that does not go away and gets worse
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
  • Hoarseness and wheezing
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Recurrent infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia

Treatment of NSCLC
There are many treatment options for NSCLC, depending on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed as well as the biologic nature of the individual case.

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy, including targeted therapy and biologics
  • Localized therapy, such as ablation

Types of NCSLC

    • ADENOCARCINOMA
      Adenocarcinoma is the most common subtype of NSCLC and accounts for 35% to 40% of all NSCLC. These types of tumors often develop at the edges of the lungs and can also be found in cells lining the airways. They have variable rates of growth and can be asymptomatic in the early stages. According to the American Cancer Society, adenocarcinoma is often linked to smoking but is also the most common lung cancer diagnosed in non-smokers. Adenocarcinoma is more prevalent in women than in men.

 

    • SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA
      Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 30% of all NSCLC and is often linked to smoking. It is generally detected in the middle of the lungs, near a bronchus, and also has variable rates of growth.

 

      • LARGE CELL CARCINOMA
        Large cell carcinoma accounts for 10% to 20% of all NSCLC. It can occur in any part of the lung and grows and spreads quickly. Like adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, these tumors are associated with smoking.

 

SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) represents about 10 – 15 % of diagnosed lung cancers and is usually tied to smoking. It is named after the size of the cancer cells when viewed under a microscope. SCLC often starts in the bronchi and spreads to other areas of the body before it is located. Because SCLC can spread quickly, it is frequently treated with chemotherapy rather than surgery.

Symptoms of SCLC
If you have any of the symptoms below, discuss them with your doctor right away.

      • Chest discomfort or pain
      • A persistent cough that does not go away and gets worse
      • Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
      • Hoarseness and wheezing
      • Weight loss and loss of appetite
      • Recurrent infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia

Treatment of SCLC
There are several treatments for SCLC depending on the stage of cancer. These include:

      • Radiation therapy
      • Chemotherapy
      • Surgery, though it is rarely used for SCLC