Lung Cancer Statistics

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Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for the majority of lung cancer cases. Between 85% and 90% of lung cancer diagnoses are NSCLC. NSCLC can be divided into three major subsets. The cancer cells of each type grow and spread differently, which influences treatment options

  • Adenocarcinoma – cancer that begins in glandular cells and often make substances such as mucus. Generally, this type of cancer is found in outer parts of the lung. It is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for at least 40% of cases. 
  • Squamous cell carcinoma –cancer that originates in the squamous cells. Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that line the inner airways of the lungs. This type of cancer is usually found in the central part of the lung or in one of the main airways, such as the left or right bronchus. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 25% to 35% of lung cancers.
  • Large cell carcinoma – this type of cancer can appear in any part of the lung. This type of cancer accounts for about 10% to 15% of lung cancer.

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)
Small cell lung cancer accounts for 10% to 15% of lung cancer diagnoses. It is named for its characteristically small cells. The cells have neuroendocrine features, grow and proliferate quickly, and do not originate from the same cell type as NSCLC.