Award-winning physician Kenneth D. Nahum works as a hematologist and oncologist at Regional Cancer Care Associates in New Jersey. Possessing more than three decades of experience, Dr. Kenneth D. Nahum has treated a wide range of cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Roughly 80 percent to 85 percent of all lung cancers are classified as NSCLC. This classification is based on the microscopic appearance of the tumor cells.
The bulk of NSCLC cancers in the United States are adenocarcinomas. While these cancers are associated with smoking, they can also appear in people who do not smoke. Most often, adenocarcinomas develop in the outer areas of the lungs and spread to the lymph nodes and then throughout the body.
After adenocarcinomas, the most common form of NSCLC is squamous cell carcinoma. Roughly 25 percent to 30 percent of all lung cancer cases involve squamous cell carcinomas.
In most cases, these types of cancer grow in the central chest area in the bronchi. From there, they can spread to the lymph nodes, but they normally stay in the lungs.
Finally, about 10 percent to 15 percent of all lung cancers are categorized as large-cell or undifferentiated carcinomas. An aggressive form of lung cancer, large-cell carcinomas rapidly spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body.
This aggressive nature is also seen in small-cell lung cancers (SCLC), the classification that includes all lung cancers not in the NSCLC category.