Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and worldwide. The two major forms of lung cancer are non–small-cell lung cancer (about 85% of all lung cancers) and small-cell lung cancer (about 15%). Non–small-cell lung cancer is divisible into three histologic subtypes: squamous-cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large-cell lung cancer.
Despite advances in early detection and standard treatment, non–small-cell lung cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and has a poor prognosis.
What type of lung cancer is most common among nonsmokers?
A: Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer in patients who have never smoked.
What type of lung cancer is most common among smokers?
A: Smoking causes all types of lung cancer but is most strongly linked with small-cell lung cancer and squamous-cell carcinoma.
New England Journal of Medicine - Vol. 359, No. 13, September 25, 2008