Carolinas HealthCare System

Lung cancer is different in each person. How the abnormal cells look under the microscope determines the subtype of lung cancer. There are two primary types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. The most common subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Non-squamous cell carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Large cell carcinoma

It is important to determine your subtype of lung cancer, because each type and subtype may respond differently to treatment.

Some tumors may be tested for biomarkers, which can give more specific information about the tumor. Some biomarkers determine if a specific treatment can be effective.