Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) represents about 10% to 15% of diagnosed lung cancers and is usually associated with a history of smoking. It is named after the size of the cancer cells when viewed under a microscope. SCLC often starts in the bronchi and spreads to other areas of the body before it is located. Because SCLC can spread quickly, it is frequently treated with chemotherapy rather than surgery.

Symptoms of SCLC

Lung cancer symptoms may be similar to those caused by many different conditions. If you have any of the symptoms below, discuss them with your doctor right away:

  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Persistent coughing that worsens
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
  • Hoarseness and wheezing
  • Weight loss and lack of appetite
  • Recurrent infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia

Treatment of SCLC

There are several treatments for SCLC depending on the stage of cancer. They include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery, though it is rarely used for SCLC