The four types of lung cancer are:
Non-small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer
The four common types of lung cancer will originate in the lungs, while rarer types of lung cancer may originate elsewhere in the body and migrate to the lung.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer, often shortened to NSCLC, is the most common type of lung cancer. According to Cancer.org, roughly 80 to 85 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses will fit under the umbrella of NSCLC, according to the American Cancer Society.
Within non-small cell lung cancer, three subtypes of cancers commonly exist, which include:
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Large cell carcinoma
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Adenocarcinoma is common among smokers, but non-smokers also may develop this type of lung cancer.
The adenocarcinoma tumors start in the linings of the lungs.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma tumors start in the airways. It is a common type of cancer in the lungs of smokers.
Large Cell Carcinoma
The most rapidly spreading subtype of NSCLC is large cell carcinoma, which can appear in any part of the lung.
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Other NSCLC Subtypes
A few other rare subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer may appear in your case. These include:
- Adenosquamous carcinoma
- Sarcomatoid carcinoma
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small cell lung cancer, often shortened to SCLC, accounts for approximately 15 percent of all diagnoses of lung cancer, according to MedlinePlus. Two subtypes of SCLC exist, including:
- Small cell carcinoma: which is the most common SCLC.
- Combined small cell carcinoma: which is a rare form of SCLC.
Some doctors refer to small cell carcinoma as oat cell carcinoma.
Causes of SCLC
Smoking is the primary cause of small cell lung cancers.
SCLC tumors start in the bronchi, or breathing tubes, of the lungs. These tumors spread very rapidly within the lungs, and this cancer also metastasizes to other organs in the body quickly.
It is a deadly form of lung cancer because of how aggressively it spreads.
When you have small masses of tissue in the lungs, they are lung nodules. Often, if the patient has lung nodules, he or she has almost no symptoms, so this is a difficult type of lung cancer to diagnose.
A doctor may find lung nodules when running tests for other illnesses or when performing a computerized tomography (CT) scan or an X-ray that just happens to include the lungs.
Lung nodules could be benign, meaning they will not result in cancer and do not necessarily need treatment, or they can be cancerous, requiring treatment. A doctor also may call your lung nodules precancerous, which means they could develop into cancer and need further testing over time.
Mesothelioma is a result of asbestos exposure.
This type of cancer may start in other parts of the body, such as the heart or abdomen, but it most often starts in the lungs.
Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
If you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, it means you have an aggressive type of lung cancer. It typically appears a few decades after the original asbestos exposure, which complicates diagnosis.
The mesothelioma cancer cells may migrate from where they originated in the lungs and travel to other parts of the body before doctors find them.
This aggressive form of cancer has no cure currently, although doctors can use treatment plans to extend the life of the victim.
We Work on a Contingency-Fee-Basis
If you or a loved one has ended up with a diagnosis of one of these four types of lung cancer, it is life-changing information. This can be devastating news.
If someone else’s negligence led to your exposure to a toxic material or chemical, resulting in lung cancer, you have the right to seek compensation. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we know how to work on your behalf in negotiations with insurance companies.
We take pride in tackling the toughest cases. We focus on serving each client’s personal needs. Contact us at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not accept any payment for our services until the case reaches a satisfactory settlement.