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By Harvey I. Pass, M.D.

Lung cancer, a disease in which cancer cells grow in the lungs, is most commonly seen in smokers and former smokers. However, the disease is increasingly being discovered in people who don't smoke.

Symptoms of lung cancer include cough (with or without blood in the sputum), weight loss, and shortness of breath.

While there are different types of lung cancers, they are generally grouped into two categories:

  1. Small Cell Lung Cancer

  2. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: the majority, characterized by:

    • epidermoid or squamous sheets of tumor cells touching each other

    • adenocarcinomas - tumor cells which form round structures called glands

NYU's Thoracic Oncology Program treats both small and non-small cell lung cancer.