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A 38-year-old member asked:

Could you explain what is non small cell lung cancer?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
One type of lung: Cancer. It is not easy to explain. There are multiple subtypes within in this type. These are due to smoking and tend to spread locally as compared to early spread through blood for small cell cancer. See this site for more info. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/non-small-cell-lung/patient/page1.
Dr. Craig Carter
Thoracic Surgery 40 years experience
Classification: Lung cancer can be classified into two broad classes: small cell and non- small cell. Since small cell is almost always non- surgical, it is important to make the distinction. Non- small cell can include squamous cell, adenocarcinoma, large cell, neuroendocrine, broncho-alveolar, etc.

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A 32-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between non-small cell lung cancer and small-cell?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rada Ivanov
Pulmonary Critical Care 31 years experience
Entirely different: Different types of cancer. Small cell multiplies fast and is considered spread at the time of diagnosis. Because of that, it may also respond better to chemotherapy. Non-small-cell grows more slowly and if found in an early stage, may be curative by surgery.
Dr. Joseph Woods
Pathology 28 years experience
Non-small cell cancer encompassese several types like adeno CA, squamous CA, and Large cell CA of lung, with different therapies for each.
Aug 14, 2012
A 35-year-old member asked:

How are non small and small cell lung cancer different?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Lung cancer: Small ("oat") cell lung cancer is distinguished by the fact that is has almost always spread beyond the lung when discovered and is therefore not surgically curable, but responds very well to initial chemotherapy. Now that the other common types are coming to be more treatable as well, "non-small cell" is giving way to more elaborate diagnostic schemes. Good luck ; keep up hope.
A 38-year-old member asked:

What are the tests for non-small cell lung cancer?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 47 years experience
Work Up: Includes: ct-chest thru liver and adrenals, head ct+/- contrast or mr, bone scan. Pet scan depends on ct findings, proximity of primary to medistinum.
A female asked:

Which lung cancer is worse, small cell or non small cell?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Apples vs oranges: With small cell, a good response to chemotherapy -- for a while -- followed by death is the predictable outcome, and it's fast when it comes. For the others -- less predictable, and slower. Best wishes.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Provided original answer
Thanks for the follow-up and for your kind words.
Sep 28, 2016
A 33-year-old member asked:

Can you tell me about non-small cell lung cancer?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
Medical Oncology 35 years experience
Not enough space: Let's see: most common category of lung cancer, often but not always tobacco related, treated with surgery if possible but radiation and chemo are often used as well. I suggest you visit the national cancer institute website. It's has good info regarding all kinds of cancers.

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Last updated Jun 28, 2018
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