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Doctor insights on: How Long Can You Live With Small Cell Lung Cancer

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Dr. Hung Khong
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
22 years in practice
249K people helped
1

1
How long can one live with small cell lung cancer with no treatment at all?

Dr. Hung Khong
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
22 years in practice
249K people helped
How long can one live with small cell lung cancer with no treatment at all?

12 months or less: Small cell lung cancer is an aggressive disease. It is highly sensitive to chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy but it tends to recur. If the disease is limited, cure can be achieved with proper treatment. If the disease is extensive, cure is not feasable but treament can improve or delay symptoms and can help patients live longer. Without treatment, survival is 6 to 12 months. ...Read more

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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,071 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that occur in almost any organ or tissue in the body. Symptoms depend on the location of the cancer, and cancer often has the potential to grow and spread to other ...Read more


Dr. Raja Mudad
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
27 years in practice
119K people helped
2

2
How long does it take for a small cell lung cancer to grow 5 cm?

Dr. Raja Mudad
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
27 years in practice
119K people helped
How long does it take for a small cell lung cancer to grow 5 cm?

Hard to tell: Small cell lung cancer is a rapid growing cancer, but the exact size change in a particular patient is often hard to predict. Several factors affect the growth of tumors in a person, including immune factors and genetic factors. But in general, once small cell lung cancer is diagnosed, it is never just watched, so it is hard to see how fast it will grow. ...Read more

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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Carlo Hatem
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
20 years in practice
4M people helped
3

3
Small cell lung cancer. How long was it there when you can see it on x-ray?

Dr. Carlo Hatem
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
20 years in practice
4M people helped
Small cell lung cancer. How long was it there when you can see it on x-ray?

Weeks to months: There is no hard and fast rule. In studies that tried to detect lung cancer early using a chest x-ray, almost half of the cancers appeared within a year of a normal x-ray. Taking into account the rate of growth of a cancer cell, and the minimum size needed for detection on x-ray, a good estimate for small cell is a few weeks to a few months. ...Read more

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Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Board Certified, Radiation Oncology
42 years in practice
10M people helped
4

4
Typical time between responding to chemotherapy and reemergence of small cell lung cancer is how long?

Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Board Certified, Radiation Oncology
42 years in practice
10M people helped
Typical time between responding to chemotherapy and reemergence of small cell lung cancer is how long?

In extensive: Disease, median about 10-12 months; in limited disease, 20 - 24 months. Cures in 20 - 25% in ld. Ldtreated with chemo rt; ed chemo 4-6 month, whole brain rt to responders. ...Read more

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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Hesham Hassaballa
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
17 years in practice
983K people helped
5

5
How long does someone survive with non-small cell lung cancer?

Dr. Hesham Hassaballa
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
17 years in practice
983K people helped
How long does someone survive with non-small cell lung cancer?

Depends on Stage: The answer to that question depends greatly on how advanced the cancer is when it is diagnosed. That, in turn, depends on how big the tumor is, where it is located, whether it has spread locally or all over the body. Generally, the earlier you catch the cancer, the longer the survival is. That is not a 100% "take it to the bank" rule, but it is a general pattern. A number of tests find out stage. ...Read more

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Dr. Farid Qazi
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
33 years in practice
16K people helped
6

6
How long will someone with non small cell lung cancer with a plural effusion survive?

Dr. Farid Qazi
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
33 years in practice
16K people helped
How long will someone with non small cell lung cancer with a plural effusion survive?

Poor prognosis: If it has not metastasized it is called a wet stage 3 b and in new classification it is stage 4 the prognosis is bad 9 months to a year with modern chemotherapy it is somewhat better but still very limited nber of patients survive beyond a year. ...Read more

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Dr. Vincent Rizzo
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
88K people helped
7

7
My mom has small cell lung cancer and hospice care has been called in its spread to both lungs already. She is in severe pain. How long does she have?

Dr. Vincent Rizzo
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
88K people helped
My mom has small cell lung cancer and hospice care has been called in its spread to both lungs already. She is in severe pain. How long does she have?

Hospice: Most hospices only take patients with 6 months to live or less. I would need more information to tell you more. ...Read more

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Dr. Matt Wachsman
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
31 years in practice
4M people helped
8

8
My great grandmother has stage 4 lung cancer and is on oxygen and won't be taking any treatment. How long can we expect her to live? Non small cell

Dr. Matt Wachsman
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
31 years in practice
4M people helped

Varies: but 1-2 years from time of diagnosis. Poorer prognosis the more advanced it is (larger, spread more places, having complications due to invovlement of the liver or brain). ...Read more

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Dr. Jon Wee
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
19 years in practice
22K people helped
9

9
What are the symptoms of small cell lung cancer?

Dr. Jon Wee
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
19 years in practice
22K people helped
What are the symptoms of small cell lung cancer?

Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath and hemoptysis are common. Often they are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic until you have extensive disease. Depending on the spread of disease, pain and neurologic issue can arise. ...Read more

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Dr. Amy Deeken
Board Certified, Pathology
15 years in practice
669K people helped
10

10
How do you cure small cell lung cancer?

Dr. Amy Deeken
Board Certified, Pathology
15 years in practice
669K people helped

Rarely is cured.: It depends on the stage and if the cancer has spread. Small cell lung carcinoma is usually treated with chemotherapy and radiation. It is one of the most aggressive subtypes of lung cancer. Definitely consult with an oncologist, but patients with small cell should weigh the benefits of participating in treatment offered in clinical trials at university centers. ...Read more

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Dr. David Cooke
782 doctors shared insights

Lung Cancer (Definition)

Lung cancer is a medical condition caused by the over proliferation of certain types of abnormal cells found in the lung. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, sputum with blood, hoarse ...Read more


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Dr. Jane van Dis
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13 years in practice
44M people helped
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