According to the American Cancer Society, 222,500 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. While cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, exposure to asbestos, radon, environmental factors and second hand smoke can also cause lung cancer.
There are two main types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. These names refer to how a cancer looks under the microscope.
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer and accounts for 84 percent of cases. There are different types of non-small cell lung cancer, including:
Small cell lung cancer is less common and accounts for 13 percent of cases. Although the cells are small, they multiply quickly and can form large tumors that may spread throughout the body. This type of lung cancer is almost always due to smoking.
Once a cancer diagnosis is made, you will likely talk with your primary care physician along with several cancer specialists to discuss what happens before, during and after treatment.
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