When healthy cells in the lungs mutate and grow out of control, they can form a tumor, lesion or nodule. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) can spread quickly to other areas of the body, and accounts for 13% of all lung cancers. While the risk of developing SCLC is higher for current or former tobacco smokers, anyone can develop it if you’ve had exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos, or air pollution. If you’ve had a family history of lung cancer, you can also be at risk too. Symptoms may include unexplained weight loss, chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling of the neck or face, and coughing up phlegm, mucus or blood.
A diagnosis is no reason for despair. Prevention and treatment can offer a great deal of hope. Early detection is important; know your risk factors and the symptoms associated with SCLC.
Multiple therapies are available to treat this form of lung cancer, and some individuals may have options to participate in a clinical trial to undergo new treatments being studied.
If you or a loved one have been affected by small cell lung cancer, ask your health care provider about treatment options.
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