Kinds of Lung Cancer: An Overview
There are two major kinds of lung cancer — Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Small Cell Lung Cancer. Each kind looks different under a microscopic lense, develops and propagates in different ways, and is treated differently.
Cancer from other parts of the body system can also propagate to the lungs; however, such cases of the disease are not the same as lung cancer.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer is more typical than Small Cell Lung Cancer, and it generally develops and propagates more slowly. There are three main kinds of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. They are named for the kind of tissues in which the cancer develops:
- Squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma)
- Large cell carcinoma.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinoma is a kind of lung cancer that begins in squamous tissues, which are thin, flat tissues that look like fish scales. This way of lung cancer is also known as epidermoid carcinoma.
Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma is a way of lung cancer that begins in the tissues that line the alveoli and make substances such as mucus.
Large Cell Carcinoma: Large cell carcinoma is a cancer that may begin in several kinds of huge tissues.
Other Kinds of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Less typical kinds of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer include:
- Carcinoid Tumor
- Salivary Gland Carcinoma
- Unclassified Carcinoma.
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small Cell Lung Cancer (sometimes called oat-cell cancer) is less typical than Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. This lung cancer kind develops more quickly and is more likely to propagate to other organs in the body system.
There are three kinds of Small Cell Lung Cancer. The kinds of Small Cell Lung Cancer are named for the kinds of tissues found in the cancer and how the tissues look when viewed under a microscope:
- Small Cell Carcinoma (Oat-Cell Cancer)
- Mixed Small Cell/Large Cell Carcinoma
- Combined Small Cell Carcinoma.
Metastatic Cancer In The Lungs
Metastasis means the propagate of cancer. Cancer tissues can break away from a primary growth and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system (the system that produces, stores, and carries the tissues that fight infections). That is how cancer tissues propagate to other parts of the body system.
When cancer tissues propagate and type a new growth in a different organ, the new growth is a metastatic growth. The tissues in the metastatic growth come from the original growth. This means, for example, that if breasts cancers propagate to the respiratory system, the metastatic growth in the lung is made up of cancerous breasts tissues (not lung cells). In this case, the disease in the respiratory system is metastatic breasts cancers (not lung cancer). Under a microscopic lense, metastatic breasts cancers tissues generally look the same as the tissues of cancer in the breasts. The respiratory system is one of the most typical places to which cancer from other parts the body system propagates.
Is Asbestos a Type of Lung Cancer?
Mesothelioma is not a lung cancer kind. It is a growth affecting the lining of the respiratory system or abdomen. Asbestos can either be benign (meaning not cancerous) or malignant (cancer). Exposure to asbestos particles in the air increases the risk of developing malignant mesothelioma.