Lung Cancer – Types & Indications

8 February 2016

Lung cancer is a tumor of lung which is characterized by inevitable growth of cells in tissues of lungs.  If it’s not treated in time, it can spread to other parts of the body too along with lungs.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of lung cancers:

1.Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) : Because of its resemblance to oats, this type of lung cancer is also called Oat Cell  Cancer. It spreads very quickly to the other parts of the body and is very harmful.  It is mainly caused by smoking and is very rarely found in non-smokers.  The worst part of SCLC is that it is discovered after having spread extensively in the body and accounts for about 15-20% of all the lung cancer cases.

2.Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) : Unlike SCLC, NSCLC grows very slowly and is very common accounting upto 80% of all the lung cancer cases. On the basis of cells found in the tumor,NSCLC is of 3 types.

a) Large Cell Carcinoma: – These cells are abnormally large and tend to spread to lymph nodes and distant sites. Out of all the NSCLCs, this is the most common type of cancer. It accounts for about 10-15% of total NSCLC cases.

b) Adenocarcinoma: - This type of cancer is found in smokers as well as non-smokers and is more
common in women. It begins from cells and is found in the peripheral areas of lungs making it all the more harmful. Sometimes, it looks like Pneumonia in chest XRay. It accounts for about 40% of total NSCLC cases.

c) Squamous Cell Carcinoma: – It occurs in the bronchial tube area towards the centre chest area of lungs. Most of the time, this type of cancer is caused by smoking. It mostly stays within lungs. It accounts for about 25% of total NSCLC cases.


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