There are 2 primary forms of lung cancer: Small cell and non-small cell. Certain forms of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are known to be much less hostile than the small cell lung cancer variety. Non-small cell lung cancer is a more typical malignant condition, representing greater than 85 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses in the U.S.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) makes up 10-15 percent of lung cancer instances and is harder to manage than the former. In common medical cases where small cell lung cancer has actually spread out beyond the confines of the upper body, it is rarely a curable condition. Asbestos exposure can produce any type or subtype of lung cancer cells.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
There are 3 primary subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer distinguishable by the physical expression and chemical make-up of their cells:
Squamous Cell (Epidermoid) Carcinoma
Squamous cell (epidermoid) cancer is one of the rarest forms of NSCLC that can occur, creating flattened cells that line the internal airways of the lungs. Compromising 25 to 30 percent of all lung cancers cases, it is one of the most prevalent types of NSCLC seen amongst men.
Adenocarcinoma emerges in mucus-producing glandular cells that line the air cavities (lungs) of the lungs. It is a lot more common in females than males and is the primary class of cancer among nonsmokers.
Large Cell (Undifferentiated) Carcinoma
Large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma can manifest in any region of the lung. This type of cancer grows and spreads out considerably more quickly than the other varieties of NSCLC.
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Generally stemming in the bronchi area of the lungs near the center of the upper chest, SCLC is hostile and spreads rapidly throughout the body. The notorious cancer can spread from its origin site even before presenting any signs or symptoms to the patient. It can spread to other parts of the body such as the lymph nodes, bones, liver, adrenal glands or mind.
Sadly, surgical intervention is rarely an option with SCLC. Rather, doctors rely upon the help of chemotherapy to damage cancer cells throughout the body. In situations where small cell lung cancer is restricted to the thorax or chest, chemotherapy and radiation are often used in conjunction with one another.