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Lung cancer types

There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small lung cancer (NSCLC). Non-small cell and small cell lung cancers are classified according to cell size and type. NSCLC accounts for nearly nine out of every 10 cases.

SCLC tends to be more aggressive and spread more rapidly than NSCLC. Therefore, your treatment options will be different, depending on which type of lung cancer you have.

cancer types

Types of lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer, which is often referred to as "oat cell" lung cancer because the cells resemble oats under the microscope, begins in the lung tissue. SCLC often spreads quickly, and accounts for less than 20 percent of lung cancers.

There are two stages of small cell lung cancer: limited and extensive. The stage of small cell lung cancer you have will be determined during the testing and staging process.

Non-small cell lung cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for nearly nine out of every 10 cases, and usually grows at a slower rate than SCLC.

We're here to guide you through the cancer journey

We understand you may be feeling overwhelmed with questions and concerns about your type of cancer and what it all means. We're here to help guide you through the process.

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Our experts answer frequently asked questions about lung cancer.

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