Small Cell Lung Cancer Stages

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Small cell lung cancer stages define the type of the patient’s treatment. Hence, different types of treatments are available for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials.

Small Cell Lung Cancer Stages

Treatment of limited-stage small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Combination chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the chest. Radiation therapy to the brain may later be given to patients with complete responses.
  • Combination chemotherapy alone for patients who cannot be given radiation therapy.
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy.
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Radiation therapy to the brain may be given to patients who have had a complete response, to prevent the spread of cancer to the brain.
  • Clinical trials of new chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatments.

Treatment of extensive-stage small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Combination chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy to the brain, spine, bone, or other parts of the body where the cancer has spread, as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Radiation therapy to the chest may be given to patients who respond to chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy to the brain may be given to patients who have had a complete response, to prevent the spread of cancer to the brain.
  • Clinical trials of new treatments with chemotherapy or immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Treatment of recurrent small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
  • Radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Laser therapy, stent placement to keep airways open, and/or internal radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Clinical trials of new chemotherapy treatments.

Today, when people are diagnosed with cancer, they usually receive the same treatment as others who have the same type and stage of cancer. Even so, different people may respond differently, and, until recently, doctors didn’t know why. After decades of research, scientists now understand that patients’ tumors have genetic changes that cause cancer to grow and spread. They have also learned that the changes that occur in one person’s cancer may not occur in others who have the same type of cancer. And, the same cancer-causing changes may be found in different types of cancer.

Precision medicine helps doctors select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on a genetic understanding of their disease. In Precision Medicine, patients that share the same genetic changes (mutations) receive the same medicine or treatment. Using those genetic changes, health care providers can provide more precise treatment is known as precision medicine.

Even though researchers are making progress every day, the precision medicine approach to cancer treatment is not yet part of routine care for most patients. Many new treatments designed to target a specific change are being tested right now in precision medicine clinical trials Some clinical trials are accepting patients with specific types and stages of cancer. Others accept patients with a variety of cancer types and stages. To be eligible for precision medicine trials, the patient’s tumor must have a genetic change that can be targeted by a treatment being tested.

The information contained on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, you should always consult a qualified healthcare professional.  Cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabis plant constituents should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical care. CBD and other cannabis plant constituents may interfere with medical treatment.

Small-Cell-Lung-Cancer-Stages-treatment

Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment“ (PDQ®)–Patient Version was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”

PDQ® Adult Treatment Editorial Board. PDQ Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Updated <10/16/2019>. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/lung/patient/small-cell-lung-treatment-pdq. Accessed <12/13/2019>. [PMID: 26389478]