Non-Small Cell, Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common form of lung cancer, comprising 85-90% of all cases. Non-small cell lung cancers are categorized into three groups: adenocarcinomas, which are the most common form and usually develop on the periphery of the lungs; squamous cell carcinomas, which are usually located in the airways; and large cell carcinomas, which form anywhere in the lungs and spread more rapidly than the other two. Approximately 198,000 new cases of non-small cell lung cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Survival rates vary depending on the stage, but the outlook is more positive for non-small cell lung cancer than for small cell lung cancer.

As with all types of lung cancer, the primary risk factor for non-small cell lung cancer is tobacco smoke: four out of five cases are linked to cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Other risk factors include radon contamination in the workplace or home, and contact with asbestos. Non-small cell lung cancer often goes undiagnosed until later stages because symptoms – including persistent cough, chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath – mimic other illnesses. The stages of non-small cell lung cancer range from zero to IV, depending tumor size and how widely it may have spread. Non-small cell lung depending tumor size

For more information on non-small cell lung cancer, read the American Cancer Society's detailed guide.

If you have been affected by non-small cell lung cancer, please be sure to take some time to read others' experiences, share your own experiences, and ask or answer questions. Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.

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