Lung Cancer Types
There are two main types of lung cancer:
Lung Cancer Non-Small Cell
There are four main types of non-small cell lung cancer:
- Adenocarcinoma of the lung
- Large cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung:
- Also called epidermoid carcinoma of the lung
- Bronchioalveolar cell carcinoma of the lung
Adenocarcinoma of the Lung
This is one of the most common forms in the U.S., and has been linked to scarring in the lung from prior tuberculosis infections.
This form of lung cancer often affects the periphery of the lung and can cause fluid collections (pleural effusion) inside the chest cavity.
Adenocarcinoma can spread to other parts of the lung(s), brain, spinal cord, bone, adrenal glands, and liver.
Bronchioalveolar Cell Carcinoma of the Lung
This form of cancer is relatively rare and comprise no more than 5% of all non-small cell cancers. The tumor originates from the cells in the alveoli or air sacs.
Bronchioalveolar cell carcinoma is less likely to spread outside of the lungs, and for this reason, tends to have a higher 5-year survival rate than the others.
Large Cell Carcinoma of the Lung
This type represents no more than 1 out of every 10 non-small cell lung cancers. These tumors frequently grow near the lung pleura (lining of the lung) and tend to spread outside of the lungs.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Lung
This is the most common of the non-small cell lung cancers. Epidermoid carcinoma originates in the cells that line the bronchial tubes.
These tumors are often located inside the airways and can cause obstruction to airflow. Blood cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath are common symptoms. Pneumonia or lung collapse may develop as a complication.
Lung Cancer Small Cell
Small cell carcinoma is also called oat cell lung cancer, because under the microscope, the cells look like oats. Oat cells are small, but they can multiply fast and create large tumors. Small cell cancers of the lung often spread to the lymph nodes and other organs in the body. Small cell cancer is the most aggressive form of lung cancer.
Continue to Lung Cancer Anatomy
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