What is Lung Cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, this year over 230,000 Americans will learn they have lung cancer. Smoking greatly increases your chances of developing lung cancer. Other risk factors include exposure to substances like second-hand smoke, arsenic, some organic chemicals, radon, asbestos, air pollution and tuberculosis.
If you quit smoking, the health benefits begin immediately. For patients with lung cancer, quitting smoking makes treatment more effective. Quitting smoking also reduces the risks of infections, such as pneumonia, improves breathing and reduces the risks associated with surgery.
To learn how to quit tobacco, talk to your doctor or visit www.smokefree.gov
Types of Lung Cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are the two main types of lung cancer.
- Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. It often grows and spreads less rapidly than small cell lung cancer. There are three types of non-small cell lung cancer — squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
- Small cell lung cancer is less common than non-small cell lung cancer. It grows more rapidly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the body.
Lung cancer usually begins in one lung. If left untreated, it can spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the chest, including the other lung. Lung cancer can also metastasize (or spread) throughout the body to the bones, brain, liver or other organs.