There are several types of non-small cell lung cancer.
Each type of non-small cell lung cancer has different kinds of cancer cells. The cancer cells of each type grow and spread in different ways. The types of non-small cell lung cancer are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells look under a microscope:
Squamous cell carcinoma
Cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales. This is also called epidermoid carcinoma.
Large cell carcinoma
Cancer that may begin in several types of large cells.
Cancer that begins in the cells that line the alveoli and make substances such as mucus.
Other less common types of non-small cell lung cancer are: pleomorphic, carcinoid tumor, salivary gland carcinoma, and unclassified carcinoma.