Lung Cancer

What is Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, as it can start anywhere in the lungs or airways. It occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control. These abnormal cells can form lumps, called tumors, which grow inside the lung or spread to other parts of the body.

It is the second most common cancer affecting both men and women. Approximately 13% of all new cancers are lung cancers. Most people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 years or older; a very small number of individuals diagnosed are under 45 years old.1 Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women, accounting for nearly 25% of all cancer deaths. If lung cancer is discovered at an earlier stage (when it is small and before it has spread outside the lungs), it is more likely to be effectively treated.1,2

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing lung cancer. lung cancer. Some risk factors, such as smoking, can be changed. Other factors, such as age or family history, cannot be changed, such as age or family history, cannot be changed.1-3 • Smoking • Secondhand Smoke Exposure (Passive Smoking) • Radon Gas Exposure found in mines, caves, or water treatment plants. • Asbestos Exposure, also known as asbestos. This material is found in fiber cement and insulating materials. • Exposure to other lung-affecting carcinogenic substances such as mustard gas and chromium. • Arsenic in Drinking Water. • Personal or Family History of Lung Cancer. • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Signs and symptoms of non-small cell lung cancer:

The cancer can be either localized, which is when it has not spread outside the lung, or metastatic, which is when cancer cells travel through the blood or lymph to other organs and tissues such as bone, liver, brain, or adrenal glands.


The diagnosis of lung cancer is made by doctors with the help of a chest X-ray where a mass can be seen that occupies space in or near the lungs. A tumor can produce fluid that accumulates in the lung or in the space around it, which interferes with the process of respiration and the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide, which is why it is difficult to breathe.

There are two main types of lung cancer that differ from each other by the type of cells in which the cancer is found.

• Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
• Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

The most common one being non-small cell lung cancer, representing more than 87% of all lung cancer cases.

CC-10175 / JUNE 2025

1. American Cancer Society. Cáncer de pulmón. 2019. Disponible en: cancer/cancer-de-pulmon/acerca/que-es-cancer-de-pulmon.html

2. CDC. Cáncer de pulmón. 2021. Disponible en: basic_info/

3. Mayo Clinic. Cáncer de pulmón. 2021. Disponible en: Mayo Clinic. Cáncer de pulmón. 2021. Disponible en: diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20374620

4. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Lung Cancer-Non Small Cell. 2021. Disponible en:

5. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Lung Cancer-Small Cell. 2021. Disponible en: https://

6. American Cancer Society. 2020. Pruebas para el cáncer de pulmón. Disponible en: https://Ècacion-por-etapas/ como-se-diagnostica.html

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