Histologic Classification

Histologic classification of lung cancer involves determining the cellular origin of the tumor. Knowing the histology of the tumor influences treatment decisions as well as prognosis. In order to carry out a histologic classification, the pathologist must obtain a tissue sample. Methods of tissue sampling are discussed in Table 90-1.

There are four major histologic types of lung cancer that are divided into two classes based on response to treatment and prognosis: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, it is important to note that certain other rare malignancies as well as mixed-type carcinomas can be seen. The four major types of lung cancer are outlined by class in Table 90-2.13

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