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Types of Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are the two main types of lung cancer.

  • Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. It often grows and spreads less rapidly than small cell lung cancer. There are three types of non-small cell lung cancer — squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
  • Small cell lung cancer is less common than non-small cell lung cancer. It grows more rapidly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the body.
  • Lung cancer usually begins in one lung. If left untreated, it can spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the chest, including the other lung. Lung cancer can also metastasize (or spread) throughout the body to the bones, brain, liver or other organs.