- The most common form of lung cancer, and comprises 3 major subtypes: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
- Most common in older adult smokers and ex-smokers. Small tumours in the lung are often asymptomatic, so the majority of patients either have locally advanced or metastatic disease at diagnosis.
- Most common presenting symptoms are cough, chest pain, haemoptysis, dyspnoea, and weight loss.
- A suspicious lung mass can be biopsied during bronchoscopy or using CT guidance. Staging studies (i.e., CT, PET, mediastinal sampling) are required to determine extent of local or regional disease and to evaluate for metastases.
- Treatment depends on stage of disease and patient comorbidities. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the most common modalities, but targeted biological agents are becoming increasingly important.
Last updated: Feb 21, 2013