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Types of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a cancer of cells in the lung.

There are two main types of lung cancer:

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) is the most common and makes up approximately 80 per cent of all lung cancer
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) which makes up about 20 per cent of lung cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

  • Accounts for approximately 80% of all lung cancers
  • Cigarette smoking and/or asbestos exposure are common risk factors
  • Treatment is dependent on the stage of disease; options may be surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and targeted therapy
  • The three main subtypes of NSCLC are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.

Sub-types of NSCLC

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Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

  • Accounts for 15-20% of all lung cancerssmall cell lung cancer
  • Cigarette smoking is a common predisposing factor
  • Tends to spread to blood vessels and the lymph nodes early in the disease
  • Surgery is not generally an option, due to early spread of the disease
  • Chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy is most commonly used as treatment