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Most cases of lung cancer are called non-small cell. There are a few different types of non-small cell lung cancer. These include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. When cancer cells grow together in one area, they form a tumor.
Small cell lung cancer is less common than non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell cancer is sometimes called oat cell. (The cells are shaped like oats when viewed under a microscope.) This type of lung cancer may grow and spread faster than non-small cell cancer.
Cancer cells don’t always stay in one place. They may enter the lymph system (a network of nodes and vessels that help your body fight disease). Cancer can also enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. When cancer spreads, the process is called metastasis. Lung cancer that spreads (metastasizes) often goes to the other lung or the liver, brain, or bones.
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