Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer and is usually treated with surgery. This form of the disease begins when the cells that make up the lining of the lungs, called epithelial cells, become abnormal and start to grow uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor.
Adenocarcinoma begins in the cells that line the alveoli (tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place).
Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the bronchial tubes in the center of the lungs.
Large cell carcinoma, also called undifferentiated lung cancer, is the name given to about 5 percent of non-small cell lung cancers that do not belong to either of the first two types.
Non-small cell lung cancer tumors can be put into further subcategories based on specific genetic mutations that can take place in cancer cells. Our doctors can identify these mutations during your diagnostic testing and use this information to determine what treatments might be most effective for you. Learn more about how we use personalized medicine to guide treatment decisions.
Read about small cell lung cancer.