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Small Cell Lung Cancer


Also called oat cell lung cancer and small cell carcinoma, small cell lung cancer is one of the two types of lung cancer. It differs from its counterpart, non-small cell lung cancer, in that it spreads much more quickly. Small or oat cell lung cancer is also much less common than non-small cell lung cancer, accounting for only about 20 percent of all types of lung cancer.

Small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer is known to spread to other areas of the body much more rapidly than other forms of the disease.

Progression of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Because it is such a progressive disease, oat cell lung cancer tends to form metastases in the lung and in nearby organs, and once these metastases develop, it is too late to perform surgery. Instead, the oat cell lung cancer and the metastases are typically treated with cryosurgery (during which oat cell lung cancer cells are frozen and destroyed), chemotherapy, and radiation treatments.

Causes of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Believed to be caused by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, oat cell lung cancer typically surfaces as small, round, oat-shaped cells (hence the name oat cell lung cancer) on the layer of tissue just below the mucous membrane of the lung.

Symptoms of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Symptoms of oat cell lung cancer include swelling in the neck, pain, tenderness, shortness of breath, and persistent coughing.

Find a Lung Cancer Lawyer in Your Area

If you or a loved one has developed small cell lung cancer as a result to the exposure to a harmful substance, it is important to speak with an attorney to find out about potential legal entitlements. Use ImpactLaw's directory to locate a lung cancer lawyer in your state.

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