There are many different types of lung cancers and not all are caused by smoking. Thousands of people every year are diagnosed with lung cancer who have never smoked or been subjected to second hand smoke. Sadly though, there is one type of lung cancer that is almost always caused by tobacco use. This disease is called small cell lung cancer.
This type of cancer is one of the most aggressive types. It is very fast growing and spreads quickly to other parts of the body. Approximately twenty percent of lung cancer cases diagnosed are small cell. Other contributors to small cell lung cancer include being exposed to asbestos or uranium. Radon poisoning can also be a factor.
Small cell lung cancer rarely exhibits symptoms until it has spread outside of the lung, therefore it is often diagnosed in a later stage of the disease. Some of the symptoms that are common are shortness of breath, pain in the area of the ribs, back or chest, a hoarse voice, coughing that may or may not include coughing up blood and trouble swallowing.