What are the different types of lung cancer? Is one more serious than the other?

The two main categories of lung cancer are small-cell lung cancer, and non-small-cell lung cancer, says Russell K. Hales, M.D. “Non-small cell lung cancer is further divided into adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

“All lung cancer is aggressive, but all cancer in its early stages can be treated, and patients can have long term control of their disease,” says Hales, a radiation oncologist at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus. He notes that patients with small cell lung cancer are more likely to have disease that spreads outside of the lung, and although their tumors respond better to therapy, they're more likely to grow back.

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