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Small Cell Lung Cancer Essay

995 words - 4 pages

In 2002, the American Cancer Society reported that more than 150,000 Americans die from the disease every year. Only 15 percent of people with lung cancer will live five years. Cancer is when cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control. Small cell lung cancer is due more to smoking. Although small cell lung cancer "(SCLC) is due more to smoking, it may also be inherited.There are 2 main types of lung cancers and they are both treated differently. Small cell lung caner (SCLC) and non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). About 10% to 15% of all lung cancer is small cell. Most lung cancer is started in the bronchi of the lungs, but can start in other parts also. First there may be pre -cancerous changes in lung, there may not be a mass or tumor shown in the x-ray, or chest scan and do not cause any symptoms. Over time these pre-cancerous growths may grow on to be a true cancer. Cancer gives out chemicals that flow into the bloodstream, nourishing the tumor to form. Finally the tumor forms big enough to show on the x-ray or chest scan.If the cancer is a mix small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) it is called mix small/non small lung cancer.Some growths of cancer on lungs are cancerous, others are not. Carcinoid tumors are small and grow slowly and usually cured by surgery. One of the ways cancer is spread is thru the lyphmatic system. When the lung cancer has reached the lymp nodes, most likely it has already spread to other organs of the body. If cancer has spread to the other lung, to lymph node on the other side of chest or distant organs, it's called extensive stage.For small cell lung cancer, a 2-stage system is used most often. This system splits small cell lung cancers into limited stage and exstensive stage. Limited stage means the cancer is only in te lungs, maybe the lymph nodes, but same side as the cancer if found. Staging is a way for doctors to know how large the cancer is, and to acnowlege if it has spread or not. A more formal system to describe the growth and spread of lung cancer is the TMN Staging System. Stages are described useing a roman numeral 0-IV (0-4). Some stages are futher divided to A and B. In general, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number means the more seriousness of a cancer. The higher the number means that the cancer also could have spread to other areas of the body.The TMN Staging System, is used more on non-small cell lung cancer, because treatment options and outlook vary from the two diffrent kinds of cancer. Small cell lung cancer is staged in this way because it helps to seperate people who can be treated with radiation and cheamotheraphy (limited stage), than those who can't be treated (exstensive stage).When it...

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