Lung cancer is widely classified into 2 types, namely: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This classification is based on the depiction of tumor cells under the microscope. These 2 types of lung cancer develop, spread, and handled in different ways. It is therefore important to distinguish these two types.
Types of Lung Cancer
Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)
SCLC occurs about 20% of all cases of lung cancer. SCLC is the most aggressive and fast-growing type of lung cancer. SCLC is closely related to the habit of smo**king, with only 1% of all cases occurring in non-smo**kers sufferers. SCLC rapidly spreads to several areas in the body and is most commonly found after the cancer has spread.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer occurring, accounting for about 80% of all lung cancer cases. NSCLC has 3 main types that are named according to the type of cells found in the tumor.
The most common type of NSCLC occurs, about 30 – 40% of all NSCLC cases. This type is especially common in women and those who do not smo**ke. Most cases of adenocarcinomas grow on the edges of the area or the outside of the lungs. This type has a tendency to spread to the lymph (lymph nodes) and a distant area of the lungs.
Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma is a sub-type of adenocarcinomas that often occur in some places in the lungs and spread to the alveoli wall (a thin bubble that is the final part of the respiratory tract and where air exchange occurs).
In the thorax X-ray (Photo of the chest Roentgen) The image looks like pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs, where alveoli that serves to absorb oxygen is filled with fluid).
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Squamous cell carcinomas
This type is initially more common in comparison with Adenocarcinomas, currently accounting for about 30% of all cases of NSCLC. Squamous cell lung carcinomas are also known by the name of Epidermoid carcinomas.
Squamous cell carcinomas are most commonly grown in the central areas of the lungs, i.e. The bronchus (the largest branching of the trachea (the throat) leading to the lungs), most often spreading throughout the lung, developing considerable and forming holes.
Large cell carcinomas
Sometimes also called undifferentiated carcinomas, is the most rare type of NSCLC, accounting for 10%-15% of all lung cancer cases. This type has a high tendency to spread to the lymph (lymph nodes) and a distant area of the lungs.
In this type, it looks a mixture of several different types of NSCLC.
In addition, there are a number of other cancers that can grow in the lungs. These types are much less frequent than NSCLC and SCLC. These types of lung cancer only cover about 5-10 percent of all lung cancer cases.
Bronchial carcinoid is a type of cancer that covers about 5 percent of all types of lung cancer. Bronchial carcinoid tumors are generally small in size (about 3 – 4 cm) when diagnosed, and most often attack people under 40 years of age.
Bronchial carcinoids can metastasize and the tumors produce substances that resemble hormones. Carcinoid generally grows and spreads longer than other types of lung cancer. Many cases of bronchial carcinoids are detected fairly quickly, so they can be removed through surgical procedures.
Cancer in the connective tissues of the lungs
Cancer in the connective tissues of the lungs, such as smooth muscles or blood vessels, as well as the cells involved in the body’s immune response.
NSCLC Lung cancer stages
The stages of non-small cell lung cancer are:
Cancer is only located in the lungs and has not yet spread to the lymph nodes.
Cancer already exists in the lungs and the surrounding lymph nodes.
Cancer is found in the lungs and in the lymph nodes in the center of the chest. This stage also describes further cancers at the local level. Stage III of lung cancer also has two subtypes:
- If the cancer only spreads to the lymph nodes on the same side of the chest where the cancer begins, it is called stage 3A.
- If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest or above the neck bone is called stage 3B.
This stage 4 lung cancer is the most advanced stage of lung cancer, which is also described as an advanced disease. This condition occurs when the cancer has spread to both the lungs, the fluid in the area around the lungs and other body organs, such as the liver.