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There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Each looks different under a microscope and grows and spreads differently. But both types of lung cancer share the same staging system. Your doctor will consider the type and the stage of lung cancer in determining the possible options for treatment.
Non-small cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer. About 85% of all lung cancers are non-small cell cancer. It typically grows and spreads more slowly than small cell lung cancer.
Small cell lung cancer is less common than non-small cell lung cancer. About 15% of lung cancers are small cell. This type of cancer grows very rapidly and in most people has already spread to other organs in the body by the time it is diagnosed.
Small cell lung cancer is divided into two categories:
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