What to know about lung cancer

Can you beat lung cancer?

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Can you beat lung cancer?

Lung cancer occurs when cells divide in the lungs uncontrollably. This causes tumors to grow. These can reduce a person’s ability to breathe and spread to other parts of the body.

What to know about lung cancer

Lung cancer is the third most common Trusted Source cancer and the main cause of cancer-related death in the United States. It is most common in males, and in the U.S., Black males are around 15% more likely to develop it than white males.

Smoking is a major risk factor, though not everyone who develops lung cancer has a history of smoking.

Lung cancer can be fatal, but effective diagnoses and treatments are improving the outlook.

This article will explain what lung cancer is, how to recognize the symptoms, and the treatment options available.

What is lung cancer?

Cancer causes changes in cells that are otherwise healthy. The cells grow too quickly, without dying off.

Normal cells in the body usually die at a certain stage in their life cycle, thereby preventing a buildup of too many cells. In cancer, however, the cells continue to grow and multiply. As a result, tumors develop.

The two main types of lung cancer are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, depending on how they appear under a microscope. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer.

Anyone can develop lung cancer, but cigarette smoking and having exposure to smoke, inhaled chemicals, or other toxins can increase the risk.

Types

The main types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. They differ in the size of cell, as seen under a microscope.

Non-small cell lung cancer

Around 84% of lung cancer cases in the U.S. are non-small cell. There are three subtypes:

  • adenocarcinoma
  • squamous cell cancer
  • large cell carcinoma

Small cell lung cancer

Around 13% of lung cancer cases in the U.S. are small cell. This type tends to grow more quickly than non-small cell lung cancer.

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