Types of lung cancer
There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NCSCLC accounts for nearly nine out of every 10 cases and typically grows at a slower rate than SCLC.
SCLC tends to be more aggressive and spread more rapidly than NSCLC. Treatment options vary, depending on which type of lung cancer you have.
Small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer is also known as “oat-cell” cancer because the cells look like oats under the microscope. It often starts in the bronchi, then quickly grows and spreads to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes. This type of lung cancer represents fewer than 20 percent of lung cancers and is typically caused by tobacco smoking.
The two types of small cell lung cancer are:
- Small cell carcinoma (oat cell cancer)
- Combined small cell carcinoma
Non-small cell lung cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. Most often, it develops slowly and causes few or no symptoms until it is far advanced.