What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a mass found in the lungs due to uncontrolled growth of cells.

It is usually malignant in nature, and considering its lack of spontaneous regression, requires care.

The result of the treatment depends on the extent of the disease (see Diagnosis) and its biological characteristics (see Cancer Identikit and Therapies).

Numbers of Lung Cancer

The AIRTUM (Italian Association of Cancer Registries) estimates show that there are 38,200 new lung cancer diagnoses every year in Italy, making up 11% of all cancer diagnoses (15% in men, 6% in women).

In recent years, there has been a moderate decrease in incidence in men, but an increase for women. The explanation once again is linked to smoking, which is decreasing amongst men but increasing in women.

Analyzing the first causes of oncological death by gender and age group, lung cancer is the leading cause of death for all age groups in the male population. Lung cancer also represents the first cause of death due to cancer in women, except for the age group >70 years.

Types of Lung Cancer

The 2 main types of lung cancer are:
Small cell lung cancer or ‘microcytoma’
Non-small cell lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer

SCLC represents 10-15% of lung cancer cases and is generally the type found in smokers. This type of cancer can also spread rapidly to other organs.

Non-small cell lung cancer

It represents 85% of lung cancer cases. The most frequent histologies are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma or spinocellular or squamous
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Large cell carcinoma, which is less frequent.

“If you have lung cancer, in addition to knowing its histology, you should ask your oncologist if the tumor is positive for alteration regarding EGFR, ALK, ROS1, PD-L1 or BRAF genes to receive optimal care”

– Dr. Vanesa Gregorc –

To each tumor, its own therapy

To learn more about therapies for lung cancer, click on the specific tumor type: