The Three Types of Lung Cancer: NSCLC, SCLC and Bronchial Carcinoids

People talk of lung cancer, but the disease so simple. Cancer is complex and often comes in many different forms. How many types of lung cancer are there?

Surprisingly, there are only two main forms of lung cancer. However, there is also a third type of lung cancer that is very rare.

The two main forms of lung cancer are NSCLC and SCLC. NSCLC stands for non small cell lung cancer, and SCLC stands for small cell lung cancer. The names describe the characteristics of the cells inside the tumor when viewed under a microscope. NSCLC and SCLC both progress and branch out in varying ways, which means distinguishing between the two is key for the appropriate treatment to be chosen by your doctor.

What is NSCLC?

NSCLC occurs the most out of all forms of lung cancer. NSCLC occurs in eighty percent of all cases of lung cancer. NSCLC also has three sub forms have names according to the form of the cells located inside the tumor. One of these sub types is adenocarcinomas, which is seen the most in NSCLC patients inside the US. Another is squamous cell carcinoma, known for existing in thirty percent of NSCLC patients. There are also large cell carcinomas, the least common, and NSCLC type mixtures are also existent.

How is SCLC different from NSCLC?

SCLC is responsible for around twenty percent of people with lung cancer. SCLC is a lung cancer with the highest aggression and spreading rate on record. The tumors that come from SCLC are often caused by or related to cigarette smoking. Only about one percent of people with SCLC do not smoke. SCLC spreads at an astonishing rate throughout the body, and is usually not discovered until it has progressed in an advanced fashion.

Bronchial Carcinoids: The Rarest Type of Lung Cancer

NSCLC and SCLC are the most common types of lung cancer, but there are a few other types as well. These other cancers rarely occur. Bronchial carcinoids are responsible for around five percent of the instances of lung cancer. The tumors that develop are usually very minute, around 3 to 4 centimeters or smaller. In the event bronchial carcinoids are diagnosed, they usually are found in people under forty. Carcinoids usually spread at a slower rate than bronchogenic cancers.

So, overall there are three lung cancer types: SCLC, NSCLC, and bronchial carcinoids. It is important to understand the differences between these lung cancer types, as they all have their own specific characteristics and treatment modalaties.

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