Non-small cell lung cancer or NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, representing about 85% of lung cancers.
There are 3 main subtypes of NSCLC:
- About 25% to 30% of all lung cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. These cancers start in early versions of squamous cells, which line the inside of the airways in the lungs. These cancers are generally linked to a history of smoking.
- About 40% of lung cancers are adenocarcinomas. These cancers start in early versions of the cells that would normally secrete substances such as mucus. This type of lung cancer occurs mainly in current or former smokers, but it is also the most common type of lung cancer seen in non-smokers.
- Large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma account for about up to 15% of lung cancers and can appear in any part of the lung.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Most people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older, while a very small number of people diagnosed younger than 45.