Small cell lung cancer is also referred to as oat cell cancer. Small cell lung cancer is more uncommon than non-small cell lung cancer. The usual characteristic of this kind of cancer is that this grows faster and is also more prone to spread to other organs of your body. Small cell lung cancer starts in almost any one of the larger respiratory tubes, grows easily as well as reaches larger size during the time of diagnosis.
Causes for small cell lung cancer
Most of the causes for small cell lung cancer is the consequence of tobacco smoking. Smoking causes almost 87% of lung cancers and the others may be due to tobacco smoke exposure. Other etiologies of small cell lung cancer include occupational hazards such as exposure to cancer-causing agents and personal or family history of lung cancer. Doctors recommend avoiding smoking and exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Symptoms of small cell lung cancer
Frequent pain in the thoracic cavity, dyspnea, as well as blood during coughing and persistent coughing are the preliminary indicators of small cell lung cancer. As soon as small cell lung cancer gets to the advanced phase, signs and symptoms vary depending upon the organ in which this metastasized. When the small cell lung cancer develops metastasis in the brain, odds of loss memory as well as frequent head ache develop.
Diagnosis of small cell lung cancer
CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays can easily diagnose small cell lung cancer. By using these diagnostic methods, the location, size, and shape of the tumor can easily be detected. Sometimes lung biopsy and sputum cytology are more helpful than any other diagnostic procedure.
Treatment of small cell lung cancer
The 2 forms that often happen as small cell lung cancer are limited and extensive. Frequently when small cell lung cancer is located it has increased progressively, and surgery is questionable to stop the cancer. The recommended treatment for this condition is actually surgery paired with chemotherapy.
Limited stage of small cell lung cancer
Even you are suffering from a limited stage of small cell lung cancer, most physicians suggest chemotherapy. Your physician may prefer surgery followed by chemotherapy if your lung consists of single nodule without any other evidence of cancer elsewhere. The most common combination of drugs used is carboplatin or cisplatin combined with etoposide, continued for six months. Some evidence shows that adding paclitaxel or topotecan with this combination may increase the survival rate.
Moreover, radiation therapy might produce successful outcomes rather than surgery or chemotherapy in the early stages of small cell lung cancer. Lack of breath as well as trouble swallowing right after the radiation exposure may occur. Chest radiation therapy is contraindicated in other types of serious health complications or severe lung disease.
Extensive stage of small cell lung cancer
Chemotherapy alone is capable of minimizing the signs or symptoms in the case of extensive stage of small cell lung cancer. Probably the most recommended medicine combination therapy is actually cisplatin or carboplatin together with etoposide. This kind of combination enhances blood cell count. Right after 8 months the small cell lung cancer is resistant to this treatment and you may choose for a next kind of chemotherapy which is generally only for a short time. The common medicines used as second type of chemotherapy include docetaxel, irinotecan, gemcitabine, vinorelbine, methotrexate, paclitaxel, topotecan, ifofamide, and cyclophosphamide. When a metastasis forms either in bone or brain, the radiation treatment is quite often used for small cell lung cancer.