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Conditions InDepth: Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the lungs.
Lung cancer occurs when cells in the lung divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissues and can spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.
Lung cancers that start in the lungs are divided into two types:
Most cases of lung cancer are associated with tobacco use, such as:
While most cases of lung cancer are due to smoking, a percentage of people with lung cancer have never smoked, nor have they been exposed to secondhand smoke.
• What are the risk factors for lung cancer? • What are the symptoms of lung cancer? • How is lung cancer diagnosed? • What are the treatments for lung cancer? • Are there screening tests for lung cancer? • How can I reduce my risk of lung cancer? • What questions should I ask my doctor? • What is it like to live with lung cancer? • Where can I get more information about lung cancer?
General information about non-small cell lung cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.... . Accessed September 28, 2012.
Lung cancer (non-small cell) overview. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.... . Updated February 23, 2012. Accessed September 28, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Igor Puzanov, MD
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