Lung cancer

What is lung cancer?

The lungs are two organs that are part of the respiratory system and help us to breathe.

Primary lung cancer starts in the lung. Secondary lung cancer occurs when cancer starts in another part of the body and spreads (metastasises) to the lung.



young person with cancer getting specialist treatment from youth cancer services by canteen

Specialist treatment and support for young people diagnosed with lung cancer

Specialist treatment and support for young people with cancer aged 15-25 is provided by the Youth Cancer Services (YCS) based in major hospitals throughout Australia. Canteen also offers events and other support for young people with cancer.

Types of lung cancer

There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.


Non-small cell lung cancer

This is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for about 85% of cases.

There are different subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer, including:

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Squamous cell (epidermoid) carcinoma
  • Large cell undifferentiated carcinoma


Small cell lung cancer

This type of lung cancer usually starts in the middle of the lungs, and often spreads more quickly than non-small cell lung cancer.



young girl using canteen's robots on an ipad to chat with another person

When cancer’s in your life, Canteen is in your corner.


Cancer affects everyone differently. That’s why Canteen provides a wide range of support services to help you overcome the specific challenges you’re dealing with.

Whether you’re dealing with your parent’s cancera brother or sister’s cancer or your own diagnosis, we have got your back. We also have newer services specifically for parents too.

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young person listening to canteen's cancer unscripted podcast
Every cancer experience is different
Listen to Canteen's Cancer Unscripted Podcast Series where young people talk all things cancer and answer the difficult questions.
More info
Visit the Cancer Council for more information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.