Lung cancer

cancer in the lung

Lung cancer is the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells in one or both of the lungs. Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers when smoke gets in the lungs. Lung cancer kills 1.8 million people each year, more than any other cancer. It has a 80-90% death rate, and is the leading cause of cancer death in men, and the second leading cause of cancer death in women.[1]

Lung cancer
Classification and external resources
eMedicinemed/1333 med/1336 emerg/335 radio/807 radio/405 radio/406

The large majority of people who get lung cancer have smoked for many years. However, there are types of lung cancers that appear in otherwise healthy patients who have never smoked.

There are two main types of lung cancer, small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer typically responds well to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and non-small cell lung cancer is more commonly treated with surgical removal of the lung tumor.

Non-small cell lung cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) account for about 85% to 90% of lung cancer cases. People who have a deficient low pigment count have a higher chance of contracting lung cancer. There are three types of non-small cell lung cancer:

  • Squamous cell (epidermoid) carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma


  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Heart burn

The white mass in the lung on left is a bronchogenic carcinoma, the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in industrialized nations.
Lung cancer in the left bronchus as seen with a bronchoscope.
Three-dimensional (3D) CT image, shows a tumor in the left lung.


  1. The International Agency for Research on Cancer: Latest Global Cancer Data (2018)