You will face many hard decisions if a loved one or you have been diagnosed with lung cancer. Including several questions like where should you go for treatment? What are the available treatment options? How to maintain your quality of life? We have tried to describe these concerns, the types, and possible treatment, which will help you decide.
What Is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer, the abnormal growth of cells in the lungs and bronchi (the airways that carry air into the lungs), is amongst the most commonly diagnosed cancers. Smokers, especially female smokers, are at a greater risk for the disease, but it can be seen in people who have never smoked too. Cancer from the lungs can spread to lymph nodes or organs like the brain, and cancer from other organs can also spread to the lungs. Try out MSK's Lung Cancer - Risk Assessment (Prediction Tool) nomogram!
What Are the Types of Lung Cancer?
The two main types are:
Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) - Also called â€œoat cellâ€� cancer, as the cells look like oats under the microscope. This cancer usually develops in the cells that surround the bronchi (neuroendocrine cells), which then usually spreads to the lymph nodes and other parts. SCLC commonly affects smokers, and it accounts for around 13 % of lung cancers. The two types of SCLC include:
- Small cell carcinoma (oat cell cancer).
- Combined small cell carcinoma.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - It is the most common type of lung cancer and is the cause of almost 9 out of every 10 lung cancer cases. It is a slow-growing cancer when compared to SCLC. The three main subtypes are:
- Adenocarcinoma of the Lung - It originates in the cells that line the tiny air sacs in the lungs (alveoli).
- Squamous Cell Lung Cancer - This originates in the center of the lungs, more precisely in the cells that line the bronchial tubes.
- Large-Cell Undifferentiated Carcinoma - Tumors that do not belong to either of the above two types are named this. It accounts for about 5 % of non-small cell lung cancers.
What Are the Treatment Options for Lung Cancer?
If the specialist suspects lung cancer, a biopsy will be performed. Here a tissue sample from the lung growth will be obtained through needle biopsy, bronchoscopy, or surgery. The cells are then examined for cancerous changes, and the tumor will be typed and staged.
All cancer patients at MSK are offered compassionate and personalized care from their experts. Specialists experienced in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, rehabilitation, and maintaining the quality of life will work closely to develop a customized treatment plan to ensure the best outcome possible. Surgeons at MSK perform more than 1,200 surgeries for lung cancer every year, with the lowest complication rates. Patients benefit from new chemotherapy drugs through thousands of ongoing clinical trials at MSK.