Types of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
AdenocarcinomaAdenocarcinoma is the most common form of non-small cell lung cancer accounting for up to 50% of cases in the United States. It is usually the type of lung cancer found in non-smokers, and is the most common type seen in women. It starts in the periphery of the lungs and can be present for a long time before it is detected. A less common form of adenocarcinoma is bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC). This type of lung cancer arises in the small air sacs in the lungs. It responds fairly well to some of the new lung cancer treatments called targeted therapies.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the LungsSquamous cell carcinoma used to be more common, but now accounts for roughly 30% of non-small cell lung cancers in the United States. It usually starts in the bronchial tubes, centrally in the lungs, and commonly is found after individuals begin to cough up blood (hemoptysis). It has been speculated that filtered cigarettes have caused the decline in squamous cell lung cancer and that adenocarcinoma is more common now since toxins are inhaled deeper into the lungs.
Large Cell Carcinoma of the LungsLarge cell cancers are less common accounting for up to 10% of non-small cell lung cancers in the United States. They occur in the outer edges of the lungs and tend to grow rapidly.
Symptoms, Treatment, and Prognosis by StageSince symptoms and treatment vary considerable according to the stage of non-small cell cancer, it is helpful to break the discussion down into stages:
National Institute of Health. Medline Plus. Lung Cancer. Updated 09/17/12. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/lungcancer.html
College of American Pathologists. Lung Cancer. Lung Adenocarcinoma. Accessed 10/30/12. http://www.cap.org/apps/docs/reference/myBiopsy/lung_adenocarcinoma.html.