This article was assisted in writing by an Artificial Intelligence (AI Writer), reviewed and verified by Bowtie medical editors, and also approved by a doctor.
There are 2 main types of lung cancer:
Approximately 80% to 85% of lung cancers belong to the category of NSCLC. NSCLC comprises distinct subtypes such as adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma that originate from different types of lung cells. Despite originating from distinct cells, these subtypes share similar treatment options and outlooks, which is why they are grouped under the NSCLC category.
Adenocarcinomas originate from cells that typically produce mucus-like substances. This form of lung cancer is prevalent among smokers or former smokers, but it is also the most frequent type encountered in non-smokers, particularly women and younger individuals. Typically located in the external regions of the lung, this type of cancer is more often diagnosed early and less prone to metastasize.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinomas arise from flat cells called squamous cells that form the lining of lung airways. These types of cancers are frequently associated with smoking history and are commonly detected in the central area of the lungs, close to the principal bronchus.
Large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma
Large cell carcinoma has the potential to develop in any area of the lung and typically exhibits rapid growth and dissemination, thereby rendering it more challenging to manage.
SCLC accounts for 10% to 15% of all lung cancers and has a tendency to grow and spread rapidly, making it more difficult to treat. It is usually diagnosed after the cancer has already metastasized beyond the lungs. However, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are effective treatments due to its fast growth rate. Nevertheless, the cancer is likely to recur in most patients.
The symptoms of lung cancer can vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Some common symptoms include:
The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 70 known carcinogens that can damage the cells in the lungs and increase the risk of cancer. However, non-smokers can also develop lung cancer due to exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, and occupational exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos.
There are several methods for diagnosing lung cancer, including:
The treatment for lung cancer depends on the type and stage of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. Some common treatment options include:
|SEER stage||5-year relative survival rate*|
|All SEER stages combined||28%|
5-year relative survival rate^
|All SEER stages combined|
The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke or use tobacco products. If you do smoke, quitting can greatly reduce your risk of developing lung cancer. Other ways to reduce your risk of lung cancer include:
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In 2020, the number of new cases diagnosed with lung cancer in Hong Kong is 5,422.