Primary lung cancer starts in the cells of the lung.
The 2 main types of lung cancer are:
- Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): the most common type of lung cancer. It grows more slowly than small cell lung cancer.
- Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC): grows quickly and often spreads to distant parts of the body.
Each type of lung cancer behaves quite differently, so they are treated differently.
In males, the incidence rate of lung cancer began to level off in the mid-1980s and has since been declining (2.0% per year in recent years). Among females, the incidence rate for lung cancer is no longer increasing since 2006.
The year 2020 is expected to see 29 800 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in Canada, with 21 200 people expected to die from the disease. Lung cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer for Canadians, as well as the leading cause of death among cancers in Canada (Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2020).