Unresectable Non-Squamous Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Unresectable Non-Squamous Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: An Overview

Unresectable non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer is a form of lung cancer in which the tumor is too large or too widespread to be surgically removed. This type of lung cancer accounts for about 75 percent of all lung cancer cases. Non-squamous refers to a type of cancer in which the cells that make up the tumor are not arranged in a normal pattern. Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a more general term for many types of cancer that are located in the lungs and do not fit into the specific classification of small-cell lung cancer.

Unresectable non-squamous NSCLC is usually treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or targeted therapy. Targeted therapy is an emerging form of treatment designed to target and disable molecules specifically involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of unresectable non-squamous NSCLC can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • A persistent and worsening cough
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bloody sputum
  • Wheezing
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hoarseness


Unresectable non-squamous NSCLC is typically diagnosed using a combination of imaging tests and biopsies. Imaging tests used to diagnose this type of cancer can include a chest X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, and/or positron emission tomography (PET) scan. A biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of the tissue is removed from the tumor to be analyzed in a laboratory.


The treatment for unresectable non-squamous NSCLC is tailored for the individual and varies based on the location and stage of the tumor. Common treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy: Uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: Uses high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells.
  • Surgery: Used to remove tumors in sites where the cancer has not spread.
  • Targeted therapy: Involves treating cancer cells with drugs that target specific molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer.


The prognosis for unresectable non-squamous NSCLC depends on the type and stage of the cancer. Standard treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or targeted therapy may be effective for some people, while others may require the use of more aggressive treatments such as surgery. It is important to consult with a doctor regarding the best treatment options.