Diseases Cancer

Comparing Small Cell Lung Cancer To Other Lung Cancer

Published at 02/16/2012 05:50:13

What is Lung Cancer?

There are various types of cancers which includes lung cancer. This occurs when a mass or tumor begins to grow uncontrollably inside one or both lungs. These cells begin to divide causing cancerous tumors. These tumors keep the lungs from functioning properly by deterring oxygen from the bloodstream. Oxygen is unable to be carried throughout the body. Lung cancer that started in the lungs vs originating elsewhere in the body is known as "primary". Small cell lung cancer occurs when the genes begin to mutate and are unable to correct the damage done to the DNA. The cells begin to die, rather than be repaired.

How is Lung Cancer Classified Based Upon Appearance in the Body?

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Large-cell
  • Bronchoalveolar



What are the Types of Lung Cancer?

The types of lung cancer are non-small cell and small cell lung cancer. However, there are several types of non-small cell lung cancer:

  • Squamous which is the most common form of NSCLC. It starts by forming in the bronchial tubes of the lungs and is most common in men.
  • Adenocarcinoma is a form of lung cancer most commonly found in women that are non smokers. It is found in the glands of the lungs that create mucus. 
  • Bronchoalveolar carcinoma is an extremely rare form of adenocarcinoma. It starts by forming near the indvidual's air sacs. However, this cancer has been known to respond very well to targeted therapy treatments.
  • Large-cell carcinoma starts near the outer edges of lungs near the surface and grows rapidly.

Small cell lung cancer occurs in only around 20% of all lung cancers. The cells are relatively small, however multiply much quicker than other forms of lung cancer and spread throughout the body. Smoking is always the cause of it.

How is Lung Cancer Treated?

The treatment of small-cell lung cancer varies greatly by the severity of the case and the stage. In order to proceed to with the treatment the doctor will need to know the following: 

  • The type of lung cancer
  • Where the cancer is located inside the lung
  • Where the cancer has spread
  • How far the cancer has spread
  • The size of the growth in the lungs

This type of staging allows the physicians to assist and treat the cancer. Once a biopsy is taking within the lung the physician can then estimate or give the patient his or her prognosis. There are four stages of cancer with one being the beginning stage and 4 being the last stage of cancer. However, stage 4 lung cancer does not have to be a death sentence. There are plenty of treatments that can help it go into remission or prolong the patient's life. Specific treatment is determined by case. 

What are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer?

In around 25% of cancer causes especially lung cancer there are usually not many to any warning signs. It is typically spotted in an a routine X-ray. Some symptoms of lung cancer may include some or all of the following:

  • Cough
  • Bleeding in stools
  • Blood in urine
  • Pneumonia
  • Hoarseness
  • Pancoast's syndrome
  • Shoulder pain
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision
  • Symptoms of stroke
  • Weakness in body
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Fatigue


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