Lung Cancer

Lung cancer one of the is the leading causes of death in the United States, causing more deaths annually than breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 228,190 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually.

Understanding the Types of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can be divided into two primary categories: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. While both types begin in the tissues of the lungs – the organs in your chest that inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide – they involve different types of cells and develop differently.

Below is an overview of the different types of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer – accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancers; develops in the cells lining the bronchioles, which are small branches off of the trachea, and the alveoli, which are tiny air sacs at the end of the bronchioles.
  • Small cell lung cancer – accounts for 10-15 percent of lung cancers; usually develops in the bronchi (medium-sized tubes between the trachea and bronchioles) near the center of the chest.

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