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Lung Cancer: Types, Causes & Symptoms

Raina Rahul Agarwal 14 Mar, 2023 Uncategorized No Comments
Lung Cancer


Lung cancer has been the second most common cancer. It accounts for one out of five malignancies in men and one out of nine in women. Unfortunately in recent years, the incidence of lung cancer has been steadily decreasing while the incidence of lung cancer has increased in women. In 1940 only 7 out of 100,00 women developed the disease. Today the percentage is 42 per 100,00 women and all the evidence points to smoking. According to an expert ” How long it takes to get cancer depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day.”

Lung Cancer is caused by the uncontrolled proliferation of harmful cells in the lungs. Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted drugs. Doctors may recommend screening in the case of high risk.

What Is Lung Cancer

When a cell grows out of control in the body it causes cancer and cancer starts in the lungs it is known as “Lung Cancer”. Cells divide and make more copies of themselves as part of their normal functions. The damaged cell divides uncontrollably and generates masses or tissue tumours that eventually keep the human organ from working properly. It usually occurs in airways (bronchi or bronchioles) or tiny air sacs (alveoli).

What Are the Types Of Lung Cancer 

There are mainly two types of lung cancer:

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: 

It is the most common type of lung that accounts for about 80-85 % of lung cancer. It grows more slowly than small-cell lung cancer. There are main types of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:

Adenocarcinoma: It is common in the United States and starts along the outer sections of the lungs. It begins in the cell where mucus secretes and helps us breathe. This type of cancer is common in non-smokers. Adenocarcinomas are also found in breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: It is also called epidermoid carcinoma. It initiates in the squamous cells that line the airways in the lungs. It is found centrally in the lungs where the larger bronchi join the trachea to the lungs. This cancer is responsible for 30& of all non-small cell lung cancers. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is linked to smokers.

Large Cell Undifferentiated Carcinoma: This type of lung cancer is found anywhere in the lung. It accounts for 10-15 % of all cases of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. It grows and spread quickly in the body and making it difficult to treat. Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma is a subtype of large cell carcinoma.

Doctors tell about the severity of Non-Small Cell Lung cancer through the staging process:

NSCLC has classified the following stages:
Occult or hidden stage

stage 0

stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

These tests help to diagnose and stage NSCLC:

  • Biopsy
  • Bone Scan
  • CT Scan (Computed tomography scan)
  • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
  • PET Scan ( Positron emission tomography)
  • Pulmonary function test

Small Cell Lung Cancer:

Almost all case of small cell lung cancer occurs due to smoking. It some times called oat cell cancer because cell looks like oats under the microscope. It spreads more quickly than other types of cancer. It usually starts in the bronchi and quickly spreads to other parts of the body like lymph nodes.

There are types is Small Cell Lung Cancer:

a) Small cell carcinoma (Oat Cell Cancer)

b) Combined small cell carcinoma

Doctors might advise the following tests to diagnose:

  • CT Scan
  • Bone Scan
  • MRI
  • PET Scan

Treatment for Small Cell Lung Cancer includes:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Laser Therapy
  • Surgery

Other Types Of Lung Cancer Are:

  • Lymphomas ( Cancer in lymph)
  • Sarcomas ( Cancer in bones and soft tissue)
  • Pleural mesothelioma ( Cancer in the lining of the lungs)

Symptoms Of Lung Cancer:

  • Cough (gets worse over time)
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Hemoptysis (Coughing up blood)
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Shoulder pain
  • Swelling in the neck, face, arms or upper chest
  • Horner’s syndrome

Causes & Risk Factors Of Lung Cancer:

Anyone can suffer from lung cancer if cells in the lung mutate (a permanent change in the DNA sequence). Several factors are responsible for the changes in the DNA sequences. Changes in lung cells happen due to breathing in dangerous and toxic substances.


Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer due to tobacco. Tobacco contains many chemicals that are caused lung cancer. If a man is a former smoker the risk of lung decreases.


Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It is a radioactive gas which is colourless, and odourless. It exists naturally in the soil. Radon enters the building through the gap and cracks in the soil. Exposure to radon combined with smoking can lead to the cause of lung cancer.

Hazardous Chemical

Hazardous chemicals are also the cause of lung cancer. To work with hazardous chemicals like asbestos, uranium, arsenic, chromium, cadmium and nickel and petroleum product are the sources of lung cancer.


Pollution is a mixture of tiny and liquid particles that are thought to be the cause of lung cancer after inhalation.


Gene is also one of the causes of lung cancer. If a person in the family has lung cancer increases the chances of getting the disease to another one.


Disclaimer: All the content of this article is for information purposes only.

author avatar
Raina Rahul Agarwal
My name is Raina Agarwal, and I am a seasoned content writer with three years of experience in the field. Holding a master's degree in microbiology. I have also garnered valuable experience as a microbiologist, with a career spanning over a decade since 2011. My diverse professional background enables me to offer unique insights and perspectives in my content creation endeavours.

Raina Rahul Agarwal

A Non-Medical Scientist, BSL-2 Lab, Mirzapur

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