What are the Types of Lung Cancer?

Lung cancers are categorized into two types based on the appearance of tumor cells under a microscope – SCLC (small cell lung cancers) and NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancers). These cancers not only grow differently but are also remedied in a different manner. Therefore, it is imperative to identify these respective cancers so that an appropriate treatment can be offered.



SCLC cancer is related to smoking and comprises up to 15% off all lung cancers. It is also the most destructive one. This type of cancer spreads to different parts of the body quickly and is only identified when it reaches advanced stages.


3 Types of NSCLC


NSCLC accounts for 85% of lung cancer case and is further divided into three types:



This is one of the most common forms of NSCLC which makes up about 40% of all instances of lung cancer. It is mostly caused due to smoking. However, it can also popular in non-smoking women. This form of cancer develops outside of the lungs and has the propensity to spread to lymph nodes. This type of lung cancer may appear as pneumonia when viewed on X-ray and is also most commonly found in women. The ones suffering from adenocarcinomas have a higher tendency of being diagnosed earlier than any other cancer type.


Epidermoid Carcinomas or Squamous cell carcinomas

Even though this type of cancer was more widespread than adenocarcinomas, today they make up only 25% of all cases. This type of cancer is found in bronchi, aka the principal chest region. Even though this cancer usually stays confined to the lungs, it may spread to the lymph nodes to form a chest cavity.


Large cell or Undifferentiated carcinomas

This type of cancer is least common in all types of cancers. They only account for up to 15% of all cases. This form of cancer can target the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.


Bronchial carcinoids

This cancer accounts for only 1-2% of all lung cancers. This form of tumor is very small in size and usually found in people under 40 years of age. Bronchial carcinoids are unrelated to smoking. They spread slowly and can be detected in its early stages to be removed effectively.


Tumors from all parts of the body can reach the lungs via the bloodstream, neighboring organs, or from the lymphatic systems. So get yourself checked periodically.