Though lung cancer is common, many people don't know much about it or are afraid to learn. Learning about lung cancer can help you better understand the disease and its risk factors. When you know more about lung cancer, you can feel more in control of your health and help educate others. Learning about lung cancer can help you better understand the disease and its risk factors.
What Is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is cancer that starts in the lungs. When a person has lung cancer, they have abnormal cells that cluster together to form a tumor. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells grow without order or control, destroying the healthy lung tissue around them. These types of tumors are called malignant tumors. When the cancer cells spread, they prevent organs of the body from functioning properly.
- Lung cancer happens when cells in the lung change (mutate). They grow uncontrollably and cluster together to form a tumor.
- Lung cells most often change because they are exposed to dangerous chemicals that we breathe.
- There are two main types of lung cancer, small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common.
- Lung cancer symptoms usually do not appear until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. At this point, it is harder to treat lung cancer.
Causes & Risk Factors
Lung Cancer Symptoms
Screening for Lung Cancer
Screening is available for those who are at high risk. If you are over 55 and have a smoking history, you may be eligible for lung cancer screening.
Types of Lung Cancer
No two lung cancers are the same. There are different types and subtypes of lung cancer. Knowing this and whether or not a tumor has any biomarkers can help inform treatment options.
Page last updated: August 23, 2021