Types of Lung Cancer
In 2013, more than 228,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer.
The most common types are named for how the lung cancer cells look under a microscope:
- Small cell: The cells of small cell lung cancer look small under a microscope. About 1 of every 8 people with lung cancer has small cell lung cancer.
- Non-small cell: The cells of non-small cell lung cancer are larger than the cells of small cell lung cancer. Most (about 7 of every 8) people diagnosed with lung cancer have non-small cell lung cancer. It doesn’t grow and spread as fast as small cell lung cancer, and it’s treated differently.
Because most people who get lung cancer were smokers, you may feel like doctors and other people assume that you are or were a smoker (even if you aren’t or weren’t).
Whether or not you were a smoker, it’s important for you to protect your body now from smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke from smokers near you.
If you smoke, talk with an expert about quitting. It’s never too late to quit. Quitting can help cancer treatments work better. It may also reduce the chance of getting another cancer.
To get help with quitting smoking...
- Go online to Smokefree.gov.
- Call NCI’s Smoking Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848).
- Sign up for the free mobile service SmokefreeTXT to get tips and encouragement to quit. To sign up, text the word QUIT to IQUIT (47848) from your mobile phone. Or, go to http://smokefree.gov/smokefreetxt/Signup.aspx.