FAQ - Sarcoma, Small Cell
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What is small cell carcinoma, and why is edema in the upper body a serious complication.?

A family member has small cell carcinoma being treated with chemotherapy in the lung/thoracic area, and recently has developed edema in the arms and chest (not sure specifics of where in the chest the edema is). What is this type of cancer and what is the concern with the edema when it develops secondary to the cancer? Thank You.

oedema of the upper body is due to blockage (partial) of the superior vena cava (the main vein which drains the part of the body above the level of the heart). this is due to infiltration of the vein by the malignant tumour. its a bad prognostic factor.

as for small cell carcinoma, it is a highly malignant tumour of the lungs, and spreads rapidly. it also produces certain hormones that mimic hormonal imbalance states (paraneoplastic syndrome).

u can type in "small cell carcinoma" on wikiepedia and check the other details for urself.  (+ info)

What is the life expectancy for Small Cell Lung Cancer with out treatments?

My mother (age 63) was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer in June 08. She has choosen not to have any treatments for it. At the time of the diagnosis it had not spread to other areas.

Wow! My mom is going through the same thing right now and the doctor told her today that she could expect to live 5 months to 5 years with chemo therapy but, without it only god knows sweetie. It all depends on how aggressive the cancer is and when god chooses to call her home!  (+ info)

What is the difference in small cell cancer and non-small cell cancer?

What is the difference in small cell cancer and non-small cell cancer?

small cell cancer spread much faster than NSCC. when treating this kind of cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used instead of surgery.

Non small cell cancer can be treated by surgery sometimes.  (+ info)

How do you treat small cell lung cancer?

My uncle was diagnosed a few weeks ago and the doctors told him it was supposedly the easiest to treat and that he had at least 5 years left to live. They also told him the cancer was inoperable and started him quickly on chemo. He's not taking any oral medicine. The information I have found on the internet says small cell is the hardest to treat and has the worst prognosis. Can anyone give me some information about small cell lung cancer and how to treat it?

Choosing a treatment plan

If you have small cell lung cancer, the main treatment will most likely be chemotherapy, either alone or with radiation. Very rarely, surgery might be done if it is limited stage cancer.

After the cancer is found and staged, your doctor will talk to you about treatment choices. Give yourself time to take in the information you have learned. The most important things to think about include the stage and type of cancer, your overall health, the likely side effects of the treatment, and the chance of curing the cancer or helping you live longer. Age alone should not keep you from having treatment.
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_2_4x_How_Is_Small_Cell_Lung_Cancer_Treated.asp?sitearea=  (+ info)

I have small cell lung cancer and looking for help?

I am a 5? yr old female recently diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. I am desparately looking for message boards and/or chat rooms etc. where I can ask questions of those that have had it longer than I have, possibly answer some ?s that I may have experienced and interact with others that are living with sclc and possibly others that know of alternative treatments and/or meds that will help me with this battle.
Thanx M.J.

Here is the listing for the ACOR SCLC listserv. It currently has 145 members who either have SCLC or are caregivers. ACOR maintains private lists for about 175 different types of cancer and cancer related issues. The lists are moderated to stop spam, etc. SCLC is a tough one so I highly recommend you join and also read the Archives which will be full of valuable info.


I do not have SCLC but the treatment is exactly the same for the cancer that I do have so I know what you will be going through. I recently finished my second cycle of chemo after having had radiotherapy.

good luck  (+ info)

Can anyone tell me the life expectancy for someone with small cell lung cancer limited stage 3rd level?

My mother was just diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. She has been undergoing testing and just started treatments this week with it. I do know shes at stage 3 and its limited stage. Please any information you could give would be great I have seen some information but hoping what you may find looks better than what i have. We still haven't gotten all the results back yet we will this Friday. But thanks for any and all help.

Small cell is best treated with chemotherapy which aggressively deals with it. If your mother can finish the chemotherapy, then radiation is usually administered.

Although each person is different, the five year survival rate is very low. I know that cancer is stressful to the patient and loved ones but try to do your best to help her relax. Plus, it is a good idea that her surroundings are as clean as possible to prevent infection. Her immune system will be compromised.

My mother had small cell but was already in a bad shape before she was diagnosed at age 77. Her oncologist was surprised that she didn't respond better to treatment.

I can understand what you are going through. I will be thinking of her and sending good thoughts her way. Good luck to you. Please let us know how she is doing.  (+ info)

What is the life expectancy for small cell carcinoma?

Hi. My mom was just diagnosed with small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and it is in the early stages THANKFULLY! however, i am only 17 and she is hesitant about giving me info and telling me what the future holds for our family, especially since she is a single parent. If you could please give me some info to help me better understand and how to help my mom beat this disease i would forever grateful!!! Life expectancy, treatment, and any encouragement techniques as she is very depressed. thank you all!!!!!!

Small cell grows quickly, much quicker than non small cell. but small cell responds better to chemo treatments. Your mom may be advised to also have WBR (whole brain radiation) as often lung cancer travels to the brain. Since caught very early, she has a good chance of ridding herself of cancer, but will have to have regular scans as recurrence is almost always. Attached is a yahoo lung cancer group, there you will find people that have beaten small cell and are still surviving and are N.E.D. (no evidence of disease) after a couple of years of treatment.  (+ info)

Anyone had any experience with High Grade Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma?

Diagnosis is High Grade Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma presenting between colon and pelvis (also in lymphnodes in same area). Doctor's are not sure but believe it originated from cervix or uterus. It is being treated as if it were Small Cell Lung Cancer eventhough it is NOT in the lungs.

Having a hard time finding anything online because it is apparently pretty darn rare. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

This is not that uncommon. Neuroendocrine cells are all over the body so it can arise in many places other than lung (most common). It is described as small cell carcinoma, an while usually lung, can arise in many sites such as vagina, cervix, rectum, intestine, appendix, etc. They are all generally treated the same, using common small cell lung cancer regimens.
In general, limited stage disease, loosely defined as disease that can fit within one radiation portal, can be cured occasionally with chemotherapy and radiation- but this is extrapolating from lung cancer patients, where cure rates are <20% with limited stage disease. More extensive disease is not curable, though it does respond very well to chemotherapy or radiation or both.

Blessings  (+ info)

If small cell lung cancer has spread to the brain, is the prognosis dim?

Stage 4 small cell has just been diagnosed and was found on the brain at diagnosis. Is it pretty much a time to make someone comfortable and prepared? Or does chemo and radiation sometimes work even if it is in stage 4 or is that just a futile effort to preserve life?

Stage 4 lung cancer is not curable and every doctor knows this. Treatment at this point is to prolong life and decrease symptoms.  (+ info)

What are the chances of survival of non small cell lung cancer when diagnosed at Stage 3 B?

My mother was diagnosed on March 9th 2007 with stage 3b non small cell lung cancer. She had a PET scan and they found another possible tumor in her neck. The cancer has spead into her lymph nodes and she has undergone almost 3 weeks of radiation and 1 week of chemo. Her white blood cell count is extremely low so they have terminated all treatment until they come back up. She started losing her hair on Thursday and by the end of the day it was all gone.

Here is a couple of links to staging lung cancer for non-small cell type...

here is another link..

Only your mother's oncologist can give you the best idea on a prognosis. Can they give her something like Neulasta shots to bring her white blood cell count up?

She can get a wig covered by her insurance (probably) if she has the oncologist write a prescription for a "hair prosthesis".

When I did chemo for a different type of cancer , I drank bottled water and saltine crackers and lots of bland high protein foods such as cold hard boiled eggs and Arby's or Rax plain roast beef sandwiches to help keep my blood levels up. (They gave me Neulasta shots to keep the white blood cells up too). You have to stay AHEAD of the nausea with the anti-nausea pills. Once you get sick, you don't even want to look at a pill. Immodium is good to have on hand for any diarrhea from the chemo. Ask the oncologist if this is okay before doing any of this...

Support groups are helpful to go to if she is feeling up to it. Check with the American Cancer Society near you or the oncologist's office for information on support groups. Pray...at least she has you to help her. I will say a prayer for her.  (+ info)

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