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Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer, and it generally grows and spreads more slowly. There are three main types of non-small cell lung cancer; they are named for the type of cells in which the cancer develops:
- Squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma)
- Large cell carcinoma.
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small cell lung cancer, sometimes called oat cell cancer, is less common. This type of lung cancer grows more quickly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the body.
People with lung cancer may experience symptoms caused by the cancer or by side effects from cancer treatments. Common symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent cough that gets worse over time
- Coughing up blood
- Weight loss.
Side effects vary, depending on the type of lung cancer treatment.
Information about how large a cancer is or how far it has spread is often used to determine the cancer's stage. Healthcare providers use information about the stages to plan lung cancer treatment and to monitor progress.
There are several ways to treat lung cancer. The treatment depends on the type and how far it has spread. Common treatment options include:
- Surgery (see Lung Cancer Surgery)
- Chemotherapy (see Lung Cancer Chemotherapy)
- Radiation (see Lung Cancer Radiation).
People often receive more than one kind of treatment for lung cancer.
These treatments may be provided by different doctors on your medical team, including:
- Pulmonologists (doctors who are experts in diseases of the lungs)
- Surgeons (doctors who perform operations)
- Medical oncologists (doctors who are experts in lung cancer and treat cancers with medicines)
- Radiation oncologists (doctors who treat lung cancers with radiation).