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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 is small cell lung cancer?

Small cell lung cancer is a type of lung cancer in which the cells look like oats when viewed under a microscope. It will sometimes be called oat cell carcinoma or cancer. Small cell cancer is the most aggressive type of lung cancer and has the

worst prognosis. These cancers tend to grow rapidly and metastasize to other parts of the body early.

Small cell lung cancer is most common in current or past smokers, but can also be caused by environmental risk factors such as exposure to radon and air pollution. SCLC is caused by an uncontrolled growth of cells on the surface of the lung's breathing tubes (called bronchi). The cancer can spread easily because of the constant flow of fluids through the lungs. These fluids consist of blood and lymph (a protein-filled fluid from the lymphatic system). The fluids can carry cancer cells to lymph nodes, the heart, the other lung and to organs outside of the chest. Small cell lung cancers spread more commonly to the brain, liver, adrenal glands and bone.

The lungs are a pair of sponge-like breathing organs that are found within the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body and take out carbon dioxide, which is a waste product of the body’s cells. Each lung has sections called lobes. The left lung has 2 lobes. The right lung, which is slightly larger, has 3 lobes. A thin membrane called the pleura surrounds the lungs. Two tubes called bronchi lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the right and left lungs. The bronchi are sometimes also involved in lung cancer. Tiny air sacs called alveoli and small tubes bronchioles make up the inside of the lungs. Small cell cancer of the lung is usually seen as a mass located in the central portion of the chest on chest x-ray. The primary cancer spreads to lymph nodes of the chest and also enters the blood stream which carries it to other organs such as the liver, bone, brain and spinal cord, kidneys, pancreas, and adrenal glands.

Small cell cancer of the lung is a very fast growing cancer. Without treatment the usual survival is about 2 to 4 months. Compared with other cell types of lung cancer, small cell carcinoma has a greater tendency to grow to parts of the body far from the lung, but it is more responsive to chemotherapy and radiation. The treatment of small cell lung cancer is not based upon surgery; rather, most physicians employ a systemic approach that includes chemotherapy and local control with radiotherapy. Smoking is the major risk factor for the development of small cell lung carcinoma.

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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