Lung Cancer

Lung cancer forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope.

 

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the lung.

 

Each type of non-small cell lung cancer has different kinds of cancer cells. The cancer cells of each type grow and spread in different ways. The types of non-small cell lung cancer are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells look under a microscope:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales. This is also called epidermoid carcinoma.
  • Large cell carcinoma: Cancer that may begin in several types of large cells.
  • Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in the cells that line the alveoli and make substances such as mucus.

Other less common types of non-small cell lung cancer are: pleomorphic, carcinoid tumor, salivary gland carcinoma, and unclassified carcinoma.

 

Staging of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:

 

For staging of non-small cell lung cancer, visit: http://www.cancer.gov/types/lung/patient/small-cell-lung-treatment-pdq.

 

Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:

 

There are different types of treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer, including nine types of standard treatment:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • Cryosurgery
  • Electrocautery
  • Watchful waiting

*New types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials*

Different types of treatments are available for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or get information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial.

Search for clinical trials in Georgia.

 

Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small cell lung cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the lung.

 

There are two types of small cell lung cancer. These two types include many different types of cells. The cancer cells of each type grow and spread in different ways. The types of small cell lung cancer are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells look when viewed under a microscope:

  • Small cell carcinoma (oat cell cancer).
  • Combined small cell carcinoma.

 

Stages for Small Cell Lung Cancer

 

Limited-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer: in limited-stage, cancer is found in one lung, the tissues between the lungs, and nearby lymph nodes only.

Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer: in extensive-stage, cancer has spread outside of the lung in which it began or to other parts of the body.

 

Treatment for Small Cell Lung Cancer:

 

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Endoscopic stent placement

 

*New types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials*

Search for clinical trials in Georgia.

Adapted from the National Cancer Institute's PDQ Database: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/lung. (Accessed June 2016)