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What is squamous cell carcinoma of the lungs?

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Quick Answer

Squamous cell carcinoma of the lungs is cancer that begins in cells that line the inner airways of the lungs, according to WebMD. It is one type of non-small-cell lung cancer. Approximately 25 percent of lung cancers are this type.

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Full Answer

Most squamous cell carcinomas of the lungs are located in the sizable bronchi that joins the trachea to the lung, notes About.com. They tend to grow more slowly than other types of cancerous cells, and because of their prominent central location they are usually discovered earlier than other types of lung cancer. The typical symptoms include persistent cough, coughing up blood and wheezing.

Five-year survival rates for squamous cell carcinoma range from 49 percent with stage 1A discovery and treatment to approximately 1 percent with stage 4, states About.com. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or combinations of these.

Although the specific causes are unknown, squamous cell carcinoma in the lungs is more strongly correlated with a history of smoking than are other lung cancer types, notes About.com. Additional factors that increase the chances of lung cancer include radon exposure, asbestos, mineral and metal dust, and radiation treatment to the chest or breast, reports WebMD. A family genetic predisposition may also increase the chances of having lung cancer.

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