Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, causing more than 85% of cases. Your risk of lung cancer from smoking is related to:
Other causes of lung cancer include:
There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small-cell and small-cell lung cancer. These types of lung cancer are named after the cell the cancer starts in.
Non-small-cell lung cancer is the most common type, and makes up more than 80% of all lung cancer cases.
There are three types of non-small-cell lung cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, or large cell carcinoma.
There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer. Symptoms tend to develop as the condition progresses, and can include:
Lung cancer survival rates can vary from person to person and depend on several factors. These include:
In general, around one in three people with lung cancer live for at least a year after diagnosis. Around one in 20 people live at least 10 years.
Lung cancer survival rates are best when the cancer is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, when it is still small and has not spread.
There are four stages of lung cancer. Each stage represents how big the cancer is and how far it has spread through the body.
Stage 4 is the most advanced stage of lung cancer. It means that any of the following has happened:
There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small-cell and small-cell lung cancer. These are named after the type of cell the cancer started in.
Non-small-cell lung cancer is the most common type and it makes up more than 80% of all lung cancer cases.
There are three types of non-small-cell lung cancer:
Small-cell lung cancer is less common, making up between 10% and 20% of all lung cancer cases. This type of lung cancer tends to spread early on and is usually caused by smoking.
Most people with lung cancer do not experience any signs or symptoms in the early stages. However, as the condition progresses, symptoms may develop. These symptoms can include:
If the cancer has not spread, having surgery to remove the tumour may help. Radiotherapy can be used to treat certain types of lung cancer.
When the cancer has already spread, treatment such as chemotherapy can help to improve your symptoms and slow down the progression of lung cancer.
Your risk of lung cancer may be higher if you have a parent or sibling who has had lung cancer. However, the exact role your genes play in your risk of lung cancer is currently unclear.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.