Thoracic cancers include lung cancers, lung carcinoid tumors, thymic malignancies, and tracheal tumors.
There are two main types of lung cancer:
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer. There are three main subtypes of NSCLC.
- Squamous cell carcinoma starts in early versions of the cells that line the lung’s airways and frequently is linked to a history of smoking.
- Adenocarcinoma starts in early versions of cells that normally secrete mucus or other substances. This cancer occurs most often in smokers but sometimes also occurs in non-smokers.
- Large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma can appear in any region of the lung and can grow and spread rapidly.
- Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is less common than NSCLC. It is most often seen in smokers, and tends to spread widely through the body.