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Types of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

The most common types of lung cancer are three main sub-types of non-small cell lung cancer. The cells in these sub-types differ in size, shape, and chemical make-up. Treatment for non-small cell lung cancer may include surgery to remove tumors or part of the lung.


Adenocarcinoma accounts for about 40% of lung cancers. It is usually found in the outer part of the lung and often, though not always, occurs in people who smoke or have smoked. It is also the most common type of lung cancer seen in non-smokers; it is more common in women than in men; and it is more likely to occur in younger people than other types of lung cancer.

Large-Cell (undifferentiated) Carcinoma

About 10 to 15% of lung cancers are large-cell carcinomas. It can start in any part of the lung. It tends to grow and spread quickly, making it more difficult to treat.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

About 25 to 30% of all lung cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. Its development is linked to smoking and it tends to be found in the middle of the lungs, near a bronchus (airway).