Small cell lung cancer is a type of cancer characterized by small, blue and malignant (malignant) cells that are about twice the size of lymphocytes.
According to tissue science, other types of lung cancer are defined as non-small cell lung carcinoma. The subtypes of non-small cell lung cancers are adenocarcinoma, squamous epithelial cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
15 Percent of All Lung Cancers are Small Cell
Small cell lung cancers account for 15 percent of all lung cancers. Non-small cell lung cancers, on the other hand, cover 85 percent of all lung cancers. Of these, 25-35 percent consist of adenocarcinoma, 30-35 percent of squamous epithelial cell carcinoma and 10-15 percent of large cell carcinoma.
What Causes Small Cell Lung Cancer?
Small cell lung cancer is 100 percent associated with smoking. In non-small cell lung cancer, in addition to smoking, some chemicals (asbestos, radon, etc.) exposure can also cause the development of this type of cancer.
Small cell lung cancer is usually detected as a mass in the mucous membranes of the airway and/or chest cavity. In contrast, adenocarcinomas and large cell cancers manifest as peripheral (peripheral) masses or nodules in the lung. Flat epithelial cell cancer, on the other hand, usually occurs in the form of masses located inside the central bronchus.
Small Cell Lung Cancer Spreads Faster
30 percent of small cell lung cancers are in the limited stage at the time of diagnosis. Usually, in the majority of patients at the time of diagnosis, the disease has spread to other organs. The spread to the central nervous system is greater than that of extracellular lung cancer.
In small cell lung cancer, conditions that develop due to the release of certain hormones caused by cancer cells and are also defined as paraneoplastic syndrome (a neurological syndrome independent of the effects of the tumor) are more common. Through the blood to other organs (brain, liver, bone marrow, etc.) the spread is observed more often and earlier.
At the initial stage of treatment, the rates of benefit from treatment are higher in small cell lung cancers. But the benefit period of treatment is shorter than for non-small cell lung cancer. Early relapses are more frequent. It is more difficult for small cell lung cancer to control the disease after relapse develops. Unfortunately, life expectancy is shorter in small cell lung cancers. In small extracellular lung cancers, the choice of medicine is greater. In particular, targeted medicine and immunotherapy options are more widely used.
Diagnosis of Small Cell Lung Cancer
Radiological evaluation is essential in the diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. Imaging methods such as tomography, MRI and/or PET CT are applied to the patients Sa. A biopsy is required for diagnosis. For this, in some cases, a bronchoscopic biopsy can be performed.
Symptoms of Small Cell Lung Cancer
The lung and chest cavity, depending on the extent of the disease, cough, hoarseness, cough with blood, weight loss, shortness of breath, persistent chest wall pain may complain of prolonged pneumonia and prolonged healing.
Disease has spread to other organs outside of the lungs, the strength and arms, loss of sensation, eyelid problems, dry skin on my face and forehead, the upper torso and arm edema and increasingly persistent of long-term bone pain, jaundice, abdominal swelling and subcutaneous nodules can be seen.
The spread of small cell lung cancer to the central nervous system is common. In addition, there may be a spread to the liver, bone marrow, bones and lymph nodes.
Treatment Methods for Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small cell lung cancer can be identified in two stages.
* Limited stage; the disease has not spread outside the lungs.
* Diffuse stage; the disease has spread to other organs besides the lungs.
The main treatment at both stages is chemotherapy. Although the place of surgery is not very much, it can sometimes be applied in a limited stage in selected cases. In the limited stage, radiotherapy is usually used in combination with chemotherapy. In the diffuse stage, chemotherapy is usually the only option, but radiation therapy can also be prescribed for pain control and symptom control. In recent years, immunotherapy has also been used together with chemotherapy as the first treatment option. But immunotherapy is not as effective as in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.