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Types

Types

December 13, 2021
Emily Cassidy, MD
Emily Cassidy, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery

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There are several types of lung cancer, but to simplify things, we broadly group them into two groups, which is small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, which is sort of everything else. Small cell lung cancer compromises about 20% of all lung cancers diagnosed. Small cell tends to be a little more aggressive. It spreads more rapidly. And for that reason, surgery is not offered as frequently for small cell. Those patients are typically more treated with chemotherapy and sometimes radiation therapy. The other 80% fall under the non-small cell category. And there’s a lot of different types within that category, but the two most common by and large of all lung cancers are adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. They’re staged the same way, and for the most part treated the same way.