Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs. Lungs are neither symmetrical, nor functionally identical, as the left lung consists of two lobes and the right three. Lung cancer begins when cells of a lung become abnormal and begin growing out of control. The growth of these abnormal cells can form into a tumor and even spread to other areas of the body (metastasize).
Lung cancers are broadly classified into two types — small cell lung cancers (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) — which are then broken down into a specific subtype. Both SCLC and NSCLC are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells appear when viewed under a microscope. The cancer cells of each type grow and spread in different ways.
Gathering information and learning as much as you can about lung cancer is important if you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with the disease. The medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons and supportive care team at Minnesota Oncology are experienced in lung cancer care and are here to help guide you through your cancer care journey.