What is small cell lung cancer (SCLC)?

Small cell cancer is also called as oat cancer and it constitutes of about 10 to 15% of the cancer cases and is also more common in smokers. Small cell lung cancer is said to start in the neuroendocrine cells which form the epithelium of the airways of the lungs. Small cell lung cancer is of two types, small cell carcinoma or oat cell cancer and combined small cell cancer.

How is small cell lung cancer different from non-small cell lung cancer?

Small cell lung cancer is different from non small cell lung cancer in the following ways.

  • It grows and spreads rapidly.
  • Small cell lung cancer responds well to chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Small cell lung cancer is also often associated with paraneoplastic syndromes.

What are the common symptoms of small cell lung cancer?

Most commonly, small cell lung cancer shows the following early symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Weakness

Read more on the signs and symptoms of lung cancer


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