Types of lung cancer

There are two main types of primary lung cancer, which behave and respond to treatment quite differently. They are:

Small cell lung cancer

  • Small cell lung cancer is usually caused by smoking and it’s rare for someone who has never smoked to develop this type of lung cancer.
  • Small cell lung cancer is often fast-growing and can spread quite quickly.

Non-small cell lung cancer

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: This type of lung cancer is often caused by smoking.
  • Adenocarcinoma: This develops from the cells that produce phlegm in the lining of the airways.
  • Large cell carcinoma: This gets its name from the large, rounded cells that are seen when they are examined under a microscope.

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Lung cancer warning for women

Lung cancer has overtaken breast cancer to become the most common cause of cancer death among women in the UK, according to new research.