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Types of Lung Cancer

There are two major types of lung cancers, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, depending on how the cells look under a microscope. Each type of lung cancer grows and spreads in different ways and is treated differently.

Lung cancer refers to malignant tumors that originate in the lung itself. A cancer of lung lining or pleura is called mesothelioma and is a different type of cancer.

Small cell lung cancer
About 20 out of every 100 lung cancers diagnosed is small cell lung cancer. It is called this because the cancer cells are small cells that are mostly filled with the nucleus (the control center of cells). Small cell cancer can also be called “oat cell” cancer. This type of cancer is usually always caused by smoking. It is not common for someone who has never smoked to develop it. Small cell lung cancer often spreads quite early so doctors often suggest treatment with chemotherapy rather than surgery.

Non-small cell lung cancer
There are three types of non-small cell lung cancer. These are grouped together because they behave in a similar way and respond to treatment differently from small cell lung cancer. The three types are:


Squamous cell carcinoma
Adenocarcinoma
Large cell carcinoma

Asbestos Lung Cancer
Asbestos is the major cause of mesothelioma which contrary to popular belief is not limited to the lungs, but can also affect the abdomen, reproductive organs, or the heart.

Pleural mesothelioma (lungs)
Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen)

Secondary cancer is cancer that has spread from somewhere else in the body. There are quite a few different cancers that can spread to the lungs, including breast cancer and bowel cancer.

It is important to know what you are dealing with so that you can find the right information. The choice of cancer treatment depends on where the cancer started. When cancer spreads to the lung from the breast, the cells are breast cancer cells, not lung cancer cells. So they respond to breast cancer treatments. And cancer that has spread from the bowel should respond to bowel cancer treatments.

Find out more about:
Small Cell Lung Cancer Mesothelioma
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Asbestos

 


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