Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Types of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

There are several types of non-small cell lung cancer. Each type of non-small cell lung cancer has different kinds of cancer cells. The cancer cells of each type grow and spread in different ways. The types of non-small cell lung cancer are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells look when viewed under a microscope:
 
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales. This is also called epidermoid carcinoma.
     
  • Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in cells that have glandular (secretory) properties.
     
  • Large cell carcinoma: Cancer in which the cells are large and look abnormal when viewed under a microscope.
     
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma: Cancer that begins in cells that look flattened when viewed under a microscope. These cells also have glandular (secretory) properties.
     
  • Pleomorphic, sarcomatoid, or sarcomatous carcinoma: A group of cancers in which the cells look abnormal when viewed under a microscope.
     
  • Carcinoid tumor: A slow-growing neuroendocrine tumor (cancer that begins in cells that release a hormone in response to a signal from the nervous system).
     
  • Salivary gland carcinoma: Cancer that begins in salivary gland cells in large airways of the lung.
     
  • Unclassified carcinoma: Cancer that does not fit into a specific group.
     
 

Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma

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