Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the lungs, it is called lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most diagnosed cancer in both men and women in the United States. After increasing for decades, lung cancer rates are decreasing nationally, as fewer people smoke cigarettes.
Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer also can be caused by using other types of tobacco (such as pipes or cigars), breathing secondhand smoke, being exposed to substances such as asbestos or radon at home or work, and having a family history of lung cancer.
Lung cancer is treated in several ways, depending on the type of lung cancer and how far it has spread. People with non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatments. People with small cell lung cancer are usually treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.