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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women; it is the number one cause of death from cancer each year in both men and women.

According to the American Cancer Society, 234,030 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. While cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, exposure to asbestos, radon, environmental factors and second hand smoke can also cause lung cancer.

There are two main types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. These names refer to how a cancer looks under the microscope.

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer and accounts for 84 percent of cases. There are different types of non-small cell lung cancer, including:

  • Adenocarcinoma - a cancer that forms in the outer parts of the lung.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma - a cancer that forms from a cell lining the airway.
  • Large cell carcinoma - a kind of non-small cell lung cancer, but the cell it starts from may not be known.

Small cell lung cancer is less common and accounts for 13 percent of cases. Although the cells are small, they multiply quickly and can form large tumors that may spread throughout the body. This type of lung cancer is almost always due to smoking.

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IMPORTANT DOWNLOADS

Radiation Therapy for
Lung Cancer Brochure
Side Effects Chart
Questions to Ask
Your Doctor

WHAT TO EXPECT

Once a cancer diagnosis is made, you will likely talk with your primary care physician along with several cancer specialists to discuss what happens before, during and after treatment.

CLINICAL TRIALS

 
Cancer specialists regularly conduct studies to test new treatments. These studies are called clinical trials. Clinical trials are available through cancer doctors everywhere — not just in major cities, university centers or in large hospitals.

SIDE EFFECTS

SIDE EFFECTS

Most of the side effects of radiation therapy are limmited to the area being treated. Short-term side effects are related to injury to normal rapidly dividing cells. They are usually temporary, mild and treatable.

PATIENT COMMUNITY

PATIENT COMMUNITY

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be difficult. It is important to reach out to others for support during this time. Find online communities to connect to other lung cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.
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