Small Cell Lung Cancer: Stages, Symptoms and Treatment

Small cell lung cancer is becoming to be a less frequently seen disease both in the USA and in the world. It was 25% of the cases decades ago; but today, this percentage decreased to 15% of all cases. It is most probably because of the changing smoking habits of people. This rate still goes on decreasing in the world.

Before Reading This Article

You can learn more about Lung Cancer (symptoms, stages, and treatment)

Are non-Small Cell and Small Cell Lung Cancer different?

We should note that non-small cell lung cancer is totally different. These terms are not interchangeable. They have different stages and types. Besides, small cell lung cancer can spread very fast.

Small Cell Lung Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms are generally same in both types of lung cancer. Coughing endlessly or with blood; bone pains, loss of weight or loss of appetite are commonly seen in these cases. They have been explained in our previous posts. You can read “Lung Cancer Symptoms” in detail.

  1. Coughing
  2. Constant chest pain worsening when you cough or breathe.
  3. Wheezing.
  4. Shortness of breath.
  5. Coughing up blood.
  6. Hoarse voice longer than 3 or 4 weeks.
  7. Depending on the case: recurrent bronchitis or pneumonia,
  8. Weight loss and Loss of appetite, chronic fatigue,
  9. A headache, bone pain, etc.
  10. The collapse of the lung
  11. Larger than normal lymph nodes in the neck or above the clavicle
  12. Fluid around the lungs
  13. Bone pain
  14. Strong headaches
  15. Weakness

How to diagnose Small Cell Lung Cancer?

Doctors can use a chest X-ray to have detailed images of your lungs.
or a CT scan to produce a series of X-ray images of lungs.
Beside them, an MRI can be used to find tumors and for further investigation a bronchoscopy can be applied, which is a tube with a camera and light to see your lungs.
Doctors can investigate liquid created by your lungs at the time you a cough by directing a sputum culture test.


There are some alternatives for these patients; such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and clinical trials.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy

However, you should know that this century offers us some opportunities like newly developed treatments. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy really help people much to recover in early stages; it recurs more than usual when it is compared with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) because researchers have found targeted treatments for NSCLC.

Surgery for Small Cell Lung Cancer

One of the treatments is “surgery”; but, it can be done concerning the size of cancer. If it is still very small and didn’t spread to the rest of the body, doctors can direct operations at patients and take a part of the lung or all of it to clean small cell lung cancer.

It should be noted that surgery has some risks for sure. That is why you should have a healthy communication with your doctor and discuss it; then make a decision.

What is the “clinical trial”?

You can get help from researchers and doctors who investigate and study for new drugs, treatments. It is one of the alternatives which people can reach in the USA today.

Some Clinical Trials Websites

Clinical Trials 

Children’s Oncology

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