Stages of Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

How is small cell lung cancer staged?

Staging of small cell lung cancer is an important process and the stage of the cancer is determined to through tests performed at the time of diagnosis. The stage of cancer can also give out information on how big the tumor is and how far cancer has spread. Staging also allows doctors to decide what kind of treatment can be given.

Visual representation of one lung completely affected NSCLC

Small cell lung cancer is mainly caused by tobacco smoking. Small cell lung cancer starts in the bronchi and slowly spreads to other areas. However, for small cell lung cancer, the staging process is done differently and it is classified as either limited stage or extensive-stage disease.

Limited stage SCLC

At this stage, the cancer is found in one lung and sometimes in the lymph nodes too.

Extensive stage SCLC

At this stage, cancer has spread to the other lung and to the fluid in the lungs as well. Cancer might have spread to other parts of the body too.

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