About lung cancer

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK. About 46,400 people are diagnosed with it each year.

The number of men diagnosed with lung cancer is reducing. But the number of women diagnosed with it is increasing.

Most lung cancers are caused by smoking. There are other risk factors that can increase the chances of developing lung cancer.

There are 2 main types of primary lung cancer:

  • non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

An animated image of cells forming a tumour.

What is cancer?

Watch our animation about how cancer starts in our cells.

About our cancer information videos

What is cancer?

Watch our animation about how cancer starts in our cells.

About our cancer information videos

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The lungs

When we breathe in, the lungs take oxygen into the bloodstream and circulate it all around the body.

Types of lung cancer

The main types of primary lung cancer are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. They are treated differently.

Why do cancers come back?

Sometimes, tiny cancer cells are left behind after cancer treatment. These can divide to form a new tumour.