Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Small-Cell Lung Cancer Overview
When cells of the lung start growing rapidly in an uncontrolled manner, the condition is called lung cancer. Lung cancer can affect any part of the lung. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both women and men in the United States, Canada, and China.
Two main types of lung cancer exist: small-cell lung cancer (SCLC, also called oat cell cancer) and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Small-cell lung cancer accounts for approximately 20-25% of all cases of lung cancer.
Small-cell lung cancer differs from non-small-cell lung cancer in the following ways:
- Small-cell lung cancer grows rapidly.
- Small-cell lung cancer spreads quickly.
- Small-cell lung cancer responds well to chemotherapy (using medications to kill cancer cells) and radiation therapy (using high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells).
- Small-cell lung cancer is frequently associated with distinct paraneoplastic syndromes (collection of symptoms that result from substances produced by the tumor, occurring far away from the tumor).
Shreekanth V Karwande, MBBS
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