Lung Cancer

Published on August 1st, 2013 | by Tom


What is Lung Cancer? Type & Statistics of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death among cancer patients recorded these days. It is characterized by uncontrollable abnormal cell growth in the lungs. Cancer cells may spread in one or both lungs, which display a wide array of symptoms among patients.

Nowadays, more people start to be affected by this disease, emphasizing that it’s the high time for everyone to learn more about this dreaded disease.

Types of tumors

Abnormal cells form tumors, the growth found on lungs or any types of cancer. Tumors can be detected through imaging like scans. Once an unknown mass is detected, it will undergo testing procedure called biopsy.

Biopsy is the procedure to know the type of tumor found in the body. It shows the following types of tumors that give physicians an idea of the treatment course to recommend to their patients:

  • Benign tumor. This type of tumor is the non-cancerous and non-invasive type. Benign tumors don’t spread, making treatment easier for patients.
  • Malignant tumor. This type is known as the cancerous and dangerous kind found on the lungs. Cancer cells in a malignant tumor spread to other parts of the body or also known as metastasis. Cells travel through the blood and lymphatic system and affect other body parts. Malignant tumors require more intense treatment options and effectiveness vary depending on the cancer stage and the body’s reaction to treatment. Treatment also becomes more problematic once cancer cells start to metastasize to other organ systems.

Types of lung cancer

Unlike what most people know, lung cancer comes in two types:

  • Primary lung cancer. This type immediately comes to mind upon hearing the general term lung cancer. In this type, the cancer cells start to develop in the lungs and eventually affecting lobes’ normal function.
  • Secondary lung cancer. In contrast to primary lung cancer, this cancer type is caused when cancer cells from other organs metastasize to the lungs. It means that the cancer cells didn’t originate from the lobes, but from other organs where cancer start to form.

Statistical records related to lung cancer

Medical organizations concentrating on cancer studies always update their records with statistics count of people who suffer from cancer. According to resources, lung cancer is the leading cause of death among individuals per year, recording more than one million deaths. Other cancer types in the running after this pulmonary cancer type are stomach cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.

The American Cancer Society stated that 14% of newly diagnosed cancer patients, in the United States alone, are suffering from lung cancer. Risk factors include smokers, individuals over 60 years of age, and women in general.

What is Lung Cancer? Type & Statistics of Lung Cancer

image source wikipedia

Classification of lung cancers

Lung cancers can be classified into two types according to the tumor’s appearance after imaging. These are the non-small cell lung cancer, which are found among 80% of today’s lung cancer patients, and the small cell lung cancer.

The non-small cell lung cancer is further classified into four types:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Bronchio alveolar carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Large cell undifferentiated carcinoma


image source nih

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