Non-Small Cell Cancer: How Is It Unique? | Blog | BASS Medical Group

October 3, 2022
3 Min
Non-Small Cell Cancer: How Is It Unique? | Blog | BASS Medical Group

With over 85% of cases being non-small cell lung cancer, it is the most prevalent kind of disease. It can also be broken down into subtypes:

  • Adenocarcinoma is slow-growing and often develops in the outer portions of the lungs. It’s also the most prevalent variety
  • Squamous cell carcinoma- is a non-small cell lung cancer that often originates in one of the lungs' airways and has a very sluggish growth rate (bronchi)
  • Large cell carcinoma- is quickly developing and more prone to spread and is non-small cell lung cancer's rarest variant.

The remaining 15% of lung cancer cases are small cell lung cancer, also known as oat cell carcinoma, which is more uncommon.  In contrast to non-small cell lung cancer, the malignant cells of this illness are spherical and smaller when observed under a microscope.

Usually, the bronchi in the center of the chest are the site of small cell cancer. Small cell lung cancer often responds better to treatment and tends to develop more quickly. It also frequently spreads to the lymph nodes or other organs. Small cell lung tumors can also be divided into:

  • Small cell carcinoma- the most prevalent form of small cell lung cancer, has flat cells.
  • Combination of small cell carcinoma: This less frequent kind of cancer causes a tumor to have a small number of non-small cell lung cancer cells in addition to small cell carcinoma cells.

The Risk Factors for Non-Small Cell and Small Cell Lung Cancer are Similar

Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop both small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, and there are other risk factors such as exposure to secondhand smoke, radiation, or asbestos. Along with individuals who have a family history of the disease, people who reside in places with high levels of air pollution are more likely to acquire lung cancer.

Small Cell and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Symptoms

Both types of lung cancer patients frequently have comparable symptoms, such as:

  • Chest discomfort or agony
  • A persistent cough that worsens with time
  • Breathing problems
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Exhaling blood
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unaccounted for weight loss
  • Swelling of the face
  • Enlarged neck veins

Small cell lung cancer can also present with symptoms including bone pain, disorientation, convulsions, and paralysis because it often develops and spreads to other regions of the body more quickly than non-small cell lung cancer.

Options for Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment

Physicians take into account a variety of variables when recommending a course of therapy for lung cancer, including the patient's general health, the stage of the disease, and the location of cancer in the lungs.

If non-small cell lung cancer has not migrated to other regions of the body or impacted a significant percentage of the lungs, surgical excision of the malignant cells is more likely to be an option for the patient. Additionally, small cell lung cancer treatment consists of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted medication therapy.

Chemotherapy is the main course of treatment for small cell lung cancer, and radiation therapy may be used to increase its efficacy.

How to Determine What Kind of Lung Cancer You Have

You'll probably require a medical imaging test, such as an MRI or X-ray, when your doctor first believes you have lung cancer to find any abnormal growths. If a tumor is found, an oncologist will perform a biopsy to remove a tiny portion of the lesion. It will then be inspected under a microscope to identify the kind of lung cancer you have. Different features of each form of lung cancer aid in detection. In addition to numerous other considerations, the type and subtype of your malignancy will determine the best course of therapy for you.

If you have just received a lung cancer diagnosis, Bass Medical Group can offer you the thorough care you require to get the best results and a better quality of life. Every day counts after receiving a cancer diagnosis. So within a day of contacting Bass Medical Group, you will be able to speak with a cancer specialist.