Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Types of Lung Cancer
There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell
lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Each looks different under a microscope
and grows and spreads differently. But both types of lung cancer share the same staging system. Your doctor will consider the type and the stage of lung cancer
in determining the possible options for treatment.
Non-small cell lung
cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer. About 85% of all lung
cancers are non-small cell cancer. It typically grows
and spreads more slowly than small cell lung cancer.
Small cell lung cancer is
less common than non-small cell lung cancer. About 15% of lung cancers are
small cell. This type of cancer grows very rapidly
and in most people has already spread to other organs in the body
by the time it is diagnosed.
Small cell lung cancer is divided into two categories:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMichael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Michael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.