Lung cancer is being classified based on the microscopic appearance of the tumor cells. The appearance of the cancer tumor under a microscope determines specifically the type of lung cancer it is. Lung cancer is broadly classified into two types and each of these two types of lung cancer grows, divides, and spreads to other parts of the body. Each cancer type has its own specified treatment that is most effective when carried out. The two types of lung cancer are:
Non-small cell lung cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common of lung cancer cases, it is responsible for about 85% of lung cancer cases that occurs. Non-small cell lung cancer can be divided into four types.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This type of non-small cell lung cancer is usually formed in the lining of the bronchial tubes. It accounts for about 25% of non-small cell lung cancer cases. Squamous cell carcinoma is most common in men with lung cancer issue especially smokers, and it often stays within the lung before spreading to the lymph nodes.
- Adenocarcinomas: This is a type of non-small cell lung cancer that is common among women and nonsmokers. It forms in the outer area of the lungs. This type of non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 40% of non-small cell lung cancer cases.
- Broncheoalveolar carcinoma: This is a rare type of non-small cell lung cancer that forms near the lung air sacs. It is a form of adenocarcinomas, and it often develops at multiple sites in the lungs, and its spreads along the alveolar walls.
- Large-cell undifferentiated carcinoma: This type of non-small cell lung cancer grows near the outer edge of the lung. It is the least common type of non-small cell lung cancer which accounts for about 15% of lung cancer cases. It has a high tendency to spread rapidly to the lymph nodes, and other close areas.
Small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer involves small cancerous cells that multiplies quickly and forms large tumors which spreads to other parts of the body. This type of lung cancer is aggressive when it comes to spreading, and it is strongly related to cigarette smoking. Small cell lung cancer has two stages which are limited stage and extensive stage.