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The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Types of Lung Cancer We Treat

Our lung cancer program features a team of experienced specialists and subspecialists, many of whom are leaders in groundbreaking lung cancer research and clinical trials. We provide the latest treatments for even the most complex lung cancers, making our center a destination for patients across the country.

We understand that a diagnosis of lung cancer is overwhelming and life changing. Our team of physicians, nurses and specialists are here to answer your questions, discuss treatment options and provide access to a variety of support services including social workers, nutritionists and palliative care specialists.

Lung Cancer Care at Johns Hopkins

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center is known for its team-driven, patient centered care. Our goal is to provide you with the most advanced, effective treatments and to help you to cope with your lung cancer diagnosis.

Lung cancer is the development of abnormal (malignant) cells in the tissues of the lungs - spongy, cone-shaped organs in the chest that help you breathe.

  • Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women. 
  • Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. Up to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths are linked to smoking.
  • Older people are more likely to develop lung cancer. According the American Cancer Society, about 2 out of 3 people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older.

We provide a superior level of expertise in diagnosing and treating every type of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer: The most common type of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer makes up about 85-90 percent of lung cancer cases. The three types of non-small cell lung cancers are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
  • Small cell lung cancer:  Also called oat cell cancer, small cell lung cancer makes up about 10-15 percent of lung cancer cases. It’s a fast-growing lung cancer that spreads quickly. It is rare for non-smokers to develop this type of lung cancer.
  • Rare lung cancers: These cancers include mediastinal tumors (tumors in the area of the chest between the lungs), carcinoid tumors (tumors that starts in the lung, stomach or intestine) and pleural mesothelioma (tumors in the lining of the lungs or chest wall caused by exposure to asbestos). 
  • Chest wall tumors: These rare tumors found in the chest may press against the lung and cause difficulty breathing.
  • Lung cancer in “never smokers”: About 15 percent of cases occur in people with no history of smoking. In fact, our researchers are discovering that the lung cancer found in non-smokers is different on the genetic, cellular and molecular levels in comparison to smoking-related lung cancer.
  • Metastatic cancer in the lung: Cancer that has spread (metastasized) from where it first started to another part of your body is called metastatic cancer. Almost any cancer can spread to the lung including bladder cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.