Lung Cancer

What Is Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is any cancer that begins in the lungs; and is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States.  It is the leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the American Lung Association.  To understand the impact of lung cancer: lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast, and pancreatic).

There are more than 200,000 new cases of lung cancer each year and an estimated 159,260 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer in 2014, accounting for approximately 27 percent of all cancer deaths, according the American Lung Association.

There are two main types of lung:

  • Non–small cell lung cancer is the most common type, accounting for 80% to 90% of all lung cancer. Non–small cell lung cancer is broken up into three subtypes:
    • Squamous cell carcinoma
    • Adenocarcinoma
    • Large cell carcinoma
  • Small cell lung cancer accounts for 10% to 20% of all lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer grows quickly and usually spreads beyond the lungs before it is noticed. It usually affects heavy smokers and is very rare in people who don’t smoke.

Less common types of lung cancer include carcinoid tumors, which accounts for 1 out of every 50 to 100 lung cancers. Carcinoid tumors grow slowly and can usually be cured with surgery. 

Cancers that start somewhere else but spread to the lung are not thought of as lung cancer. Cancers from different parts of the body grow differently and need different treatments.

What Causes Lung Cancer

Risk Factors For Lung Cancer

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

Symptoms of Lung Cancer


Living With Lung Cancer



Common Treatment

Complementary and Alternative Treatment

Care Guide

When To Contact A Doctor

Questions For Your Doctor

Questions For A Doctor