Most lung cancer diagnoses fall under the classification of non-small cell cancer as opposed to small cell cancer. In fact, 87 percent of lung cancers are considered to be non-small cell cancers. Distinguishing between the two categories of lung cancer is accomplished through examination of the cancer under a microscope.
According to the National Cancer Institute, while there are several different types of non-small cell lung cancers, there are three main types that make up most of the diagnoses: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This form of non-small cell lung cancer begins in thin, flat cells called squamous cells. These cells are typically found in the lining of many of the body’s hollow organs, such as the lungs, and also in the respiratory tracts. This disease can also be referred to as epidermoid carcinoma.

This particular lung cancer begins in cells that can be found lining certain internal organs and that have gland-like qualities. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is the most common form of lung cancer. Because this cancer is located on the outer lining of the lungs, it can easily spread to surrounding tissues on lymph glands, to other organs and to the bloodstream. Some of the subtypes of this form of non-small cell lung cancer include acinar, papillary, and bronchoalveolar.

Large Cell Carcinoma

Medical professionals use this form of diagnosis when the non-small lung cancer is undifferentiated. This means that the pathologist cannot find squamous or glandular properties in the cancer cells to properly diagnose as either squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma.

Other types of non-small cell cancers of the lung and bronchus include pleomorphic, salivary gland carcinoma, and cancers due to carcinoid tumors. It has been found that non-small cell lung cancers spread slower than small cell category cancers.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer in Georgia and feel it was discovered late or originally missed by your doctor, please request a copy of our free book, I Have Cancer…Should It Have Been Caught Earlier?, or contact an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice and lung cancer lawyer at the Dover Law Firm at 770-518-1133 to discuss your situation and schedule a free consultation.