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Lung Cancer

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is cancer that usually starts in the lining of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs), but can also begin in other areas of the lungs, including the bronchioles, or alveoli. It is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. In 2012, about 226,120 new cases of lung cancer are expected, according to the American Cancer Society.

Lung cancers are believed to develop over a period of many years.Nearly all lung cancers are carcinomas, a cancer that begins in the lining or covering tissues of an organ. The tumor cells of each type of lung cancer grow and spread differently, and each type requires different treatment.Lung cancers are generally divided into two types:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer. This type is much more common than small cell lung cancer, accounting for about 85 to 90 percent of lung cancers. The three main kinds of non-small cell lung cancer are named for the type of cells in the tumor:
    • Squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma). It often begins in the bronchi near the middle of the lungs.
    • Adenocarcinoma. This type usually begins along the outer edges of the lungs. It is the most common type of lung cancer in people who have never smoked.
    • Large cell carcinomas. These are a group of cancers with large, abnormal-looking cells. These tumors may begin anywhere in the lungs and tend to grow quickly.
  • Small cell lung cancer. This type is sometimes called oat cell cancer because the cancer cells may look like oats when viewed under a microscope, grows rapidly, and quickly spreads to other organs. There are two stages of small cell lung cancer:
    • Limited. In this stage, cancer is generally found in only one lung. There may also be cancer in nearby lymph nodes on the same side of the chest.
    • Extensive. In this stage, cancer has spread beyond the primary tumor in the lung into other parts of the body.

It is important to find out what kind of lung cancer a person has. The different types of carcinomas, involving different regions of the lung, may cause different symptoms and are treated differently. Our team specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of Lung Cancer and is committed to finding the best treatment plan for you.If you think you may have Lung Cancer or other symptoms of lung disease, contact us at 312.413.4244.

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