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    What Is Lung Cancer?

    Although lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. in both men and women, both the occurrence of lung cancer and the deaths related to it can be reduced. More than four out of every five cases of lung cancer are associated with cigarette smoking. The cause-and-effect relationship has been extensively documented. During the 1920s, large numbers of men began to smoke cigarettes, presumably in response to increased advertising. Twenty years later, the frequency of lung cancer in men climbed sharply. In the 1940s, significantly more women became smokers. Twenty years later, there was a similar dramatic increase in lung cancer among women.

    Lung tumors almost always start in the spongy, pinkish gray walls of the bronchi -- the tubular, branching airways of the lungs. More than 20 types of malignant tumors that originate in the lung itself -- primary lung cancer -- have been identified. The major types are small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. The more common non-small variety is primarily divided into squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large-cell carcinoma.

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    Lung Cancer: Basic Info You Should Know

    It’s cancer that starts in your lungs and can spread to other parts of your body. Although it’s the top cause of cancer deaths for U.S. men and women, it’s also one of the most preventable kinds, by not smoking and avoiding other people’s secondhand smoke. The disease almost always starts in the spongy, pinkish gray walls of the lungs’ airways (called bronchi or bronchioles) or air sacs (called alveoli). There are more than 20 kinds. The two main types are non-small cell lung cancer and...

    Read the Lung Cancer: Basic Info You Should Know article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on May 22, 2016

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