(NSCLC; Non-small Cell Lung Cancer; Non-small Cell Bronchogenic Carcinoma; Small Cell Lung Cancer)
- Non-small cell lung cancer—generally grows and spreads more slowly (more common form)
- Small cell lung cancer—generally grows more quickly and is more likely to spread to other parts of the body
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- First- or second-hand smoke from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes
- Exposure to asbestos (a type of mineral) or radon (radioactive gas)
- Using chewing tobacco
- Being exposed to second-hand smoke
- Being exposed to asbestos or radon
- Having a lung disease, such as tuberculosis
- Having a family or personal history of lung cancer
- Being exposed to certain air pollutants
- Being exposed to coal dust
- Radiation therapy that was used to treat other cancers
- HIV infection
- Smoking history
- Substances that you have been exposed to
- Family history of cancer
- Chest x-ray—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
- Sputum cytology—a test that examines of a sample of mucus from the lungs
- Spiral CT—a special type of x-ray of the lungs
- Biopsy—removal of a sample of lung tissue to be tested for cancer cells.
- Positron emission tomography scan (PET scan)—an image created using a tiny amount of radiation that is put into the body
- PET/CT scan—a type of imaging test that combines PET and CT scan techniques
- Bone scan—a test that detects areas of increased or decreased bone activity
- Segmental or wedge resection—removal of only a small part of the lung
- Lobectomy—removal of an entire lobe of the lung
- Pneumonectomy—removal of an entire lung
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT)—a type of laser therapy. A chemical is injected into the bloodstream. It is then absorbed by the cells of the body. The chemical rapidly leaves normal cells. It will remain in cancer cells for a longer time. A laser aimed at the cancer activates the chemical. This chemical then kills the cancer cells that have absorbed it. This treatment may also be used to reduce symptoms.
- Cryosurgery—a treatment that freezes and destroys cancer tissue
- Targeted therapy—involves using medicines or substances to target certain molecules in the cancer cells
- Immunotherapy—involves using medicines or substances made by the body to increase or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer
- Do not start smoking. If you smoke, quit.
- Avoid places where people are smoking.
- Test your home for radon gases and asbestos. Have these substances removed if they are in the home.
- Do not work in a place with asbestos.
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
American Lung Association http://www.lungusa.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Can non-small cell lung cancer be found early? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/LungCancer-Non-SmallCell/DetailedGuide/non-small-cell-lung-cancer-detection. Updated February 17, 2012. Accessed May 14, 2012.
General information about non-small cell lung cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/non-small-cell-lung/patient. Accessed October 1, 2012.
Lung cancer CT screening: is it right for me? American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-screening-guidelines/lung-cancer-screening-for-patients.pdf. Accessed May 11, 2012.
Monoclonal antibodies. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/TreatmentTypes/Immunotherapy/immunotherapy-monoclonal-antibodies. Updated May 9, 2012. Accessed October 1, 2012.
Munden RF, Swisher SS, Stevens CW, Stewart DJ. Imaging of the patient with non-small cell lung cancer. Radiology. 2005;237(3).:803.
Non-small cell lung cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated September 25, 2012. Accessed October 1, 2012.
Targeted cancer therapies. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/targeted. Accessed October 1, 2012.
11/12/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: National Cancer Institute. Lung cancer trial results show mortality benefit with low-dose CT. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/NLSTresultsRelease. Accessed November 12, 2010.
- Reviewer: Igor Puzanov, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012
- Update Date: 10/01/2012