Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatments

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Small cell lung cancer treatments consist of the conventional surgery-radiation-chemotherapy procedure in mainstream medicine. Small cell constitutes about 20 percent of lung cancer cases; it is deadlier than non-small cell because it is so much more aggressive. Symptoms may include a cough and chest pains that do not go away, wheezing, coughing up blood, hoarseness, fatigue.

If any of these or other symptoms persist, a doctor should be consulted right away. Risk factors include smoking, being exposed to second-hand smoke, and being exposed to radon or asbestos. Those who can eliminate the risk factors from their lives will improve their chances of preventing the development of lung cancer.

Orthodox Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatments

Western small cell lung cancer treatments depend on the stage of the cancer. Limited small cell means the cancer is in one lung, the tissues between the lungs, and possibly a few close lymph nodes. Surgery may be feasible in this case, although it is not often the only treatment used simply because a diagnosis is usually made when both lungs are affected by this aggressive disease. Extensive small cell means the disease has spread to both lungs, and/or to other parts of the body. This stage is often considered inoperable lung cancer, and radiation or chemo is used.

Chemotherapy lung cancer treatments involve drugs that kill cancer cells; radiation uses high-energy x-rays to kill the cells. All of these approaches must be judged carefully and applied appropriately for the different stages of the disease. Today, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) also frequently finds a place in small cell lung cancer treatments.

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