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All about lung cancer types of lung cancer small cell lung cancer non-small cell lung cancer causes of lung cancer risk factors for lung cancer lung cancer symptoms diagnosis of lung cancer lung cancer stages lung cancer treatments treatment for small cell lung cancer non-small cell lung cancer treatment treatment for non-small cell lung cancer by stage lung cancer survival rate prevention of lung cancer asbestos lung cancer

What's the treatment for small cell lung cancer by stage?

Limited stage - Treatments include various combinations of chemotherapy, radiation and, rarely, surgery, with or without radiation to the brain to prevent cancer spread, called prophylactic cranial radiation. Limited stage small cell lung cancers are usually treated with a combination radiation to the chest and Chemotherapy. There is no role for surgery. There are many different ways to combine these two modalities. There is a small chance to completely cure this condition in up to five

percent of patients. Age of the patients and their overall health status determine the intensity of treatment. A general rule is that younger patients are treated with more aggressive regimens. The most effective chemotherapy drugs used to treat this condition are VP-16, Carboplatinum, and Cisplatinum. If the disease does not respond to these drugs, there are other drugs that could be used. Radiation therapy may also be administered at the same time as Chemotherapy, or after completion of Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is normally given every three to four weeks for a period of at least six months. Patients with limited-stage SCLC should be referred to a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist for chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Patients with limited-stage SCLC achieving a CR should be offered PCI. Patients with limited-stage SCLC achieving a CR or patients who have undergone resection who have stage I disease should be offered PCI.

Extensive stage - Treatments include chemotherapy, with or without prophylactic cranial irradiation, or radiation treatments to areas of existing metastases in the brain, spine or other bones. Extensive stage small cell lung cancer is normally treated with the same chemotherapy drugs as mentioned above. There is no rule for using radiation therapy to the chest. However, if cancer has spread to brain or bones, those areas could be treated with radiation therapy. Unfortunately, a cure is not possible for this condition. However, the illness is quite manageable for a period of time, varying form months to even years. Recently a number of new active drugs have been identified for treating patients with small cell lung cancer. These agents include Taxol, Taxotere, Irinotecan, Topotecan and Gemcitabine. Patients with extensive-stage disease should receive platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients achieving a complete remission (CR) should be offered prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI). Elderly patients with good performance status and with intact organ function should be treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Elderly patients with poor prognostic factors such as poor performance status or severe concomitant comorbid disease may still be considered for chemotherapy. Elderly patients achieving a CR should be offered PCI.

Recurrent Stage - Recurrent disease means that the cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the lungs or in another part of the body. Recurrent cancer is cancer that has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the lungs or in another part of the body. Treatment may be one of the following:

  • Radiation therapy to reduce discomfort
  • Chemotherapy to reduce discomfort
  • Laser therapy, radiation therapy, and/or surgical implantation of devices to keep the airways open to relieve discomfort
  • A clinical trial testing new drugs

More information on lung cancer

What is lung cancer? - Lung cancer is a malignant tumour of the lungs. Lung cancer is the cancer that originates in the tissues of the lungs. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths.
What types of lung cancer are there? - The lungs are made up of several kinds of cells that perform different functions. The type of lung cancer depends on which cell type is affected.
What is small cell lung cancer? - Small cell lung cancer is a type of lung cancer in which the cells look like oats. Small cell lung cancer is almost always caused by smoking.
What is non-small cell lung cancer? - Non-small cell lung cancers include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, large cell carcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, and undifferentiated carcinoma.
What causes lung cancer? - Cigarette smoking is the most significant cause of lung cancer. Asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer. Lung diseases create a risk for lung cancer.
What're the risk factors for lung cancer? - Risk factors for lung cancer include tobacco smoking, marijuana, asbestos, radon, lung diseases, radiation therapy, work-related exposure to substances.
What're the signs and symptoms of lung cancer? - Lung cancer may cause a number of symptoms. The primary symptoms of lung cancer are cough, shortness of breath, hoarseness, blood in the sputum, and pain.
How is lung cancer diagnosed? - Diagnosis of lung cancer may be made by physical examination, chest X rays, bronchoscopy, or percutaneous needle biopsy. Lung biopsy is the most definitive diagnostic tool for cancer.
What're the lung cancer stages? - Lung cancer is staged according to its location, size, cell type, and spread. Knowing the stage of lung cancer helps the doctor set the treatment plan.
What're the treatments for lung cancer? - The treatment of lung cancer depends on the type and stage of the disease and includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
What's the treatment for small cell lung cancer? - At limited stage treatments for small cell lung cancer include various combinations of chemotherapy, radiation.
What's the treatment for non-small cell lung cancer? - Surgery is the primary treatment for all non¨Csmall cell lung cancers. Radiation therapy may be administered.
Treatment for non-small cell lung cancer by stage - Stage III non-small cell lung cancer are treated with radiation and sometimes with surgery, chemotherapy, or combinations of each.
What's the prognosis of lung cancer survival rate? - The prognosis of lung cancer depends on the type of lung cancer, its stage, and the overall health of the patient.
How to prevent lung cancer? - Prevention of lung cancer includes quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to potentially cancer-causing substances in the work environment.
Asbestos lung cancer - The most serious hazard of exposure to asbestos is cancer. Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005