Treatment of limited stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

How is limited stage small cell lung cancer treated?

Limited stage small cell lung cancer is confined to one long only and has not moved beyond it. There are various treatment options that are used in the case of limited stage small cell lung cancer and they are listed below:

Picture of a doctor showing a visual representation of lung cancer

Read more on staging of non-small cell lung cancer.

  • Surgery

Doctors mostly recommend surgery if the tumor is in the very early stage and they make sure that the tumor along with the nearby lymph nodes are removed. However before going ahead with the surgery, the doctors thoroughly check the lymph nodes to see if the cancer has spread and tests such as mediastinoscopy, EBUS-FNA is done and if the cancer has spread, the surgery is unlikely to be performed.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the treatment that is usually given after the surgery is over as chemotherapy can kill any remaining cancer cells that are left behind after the surgery.

  • Radiation

In most cases of small cell lung cancer, cancer will slowly spread to the brain and as a preventive measure, doctors recommend low doses of radiation to the head, this is also known as prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI).

  • Concurrent chemoradiation

if the patient is in good health. The patient is given chemo with simultaneous radiation usually in the chest area and this is known as concurrent chemoradiation.

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