5 doctors weighed in:

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

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Thank
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Since it is the

Fastest growing lung cancer and the one that screeningchest x-rays rarely caught, the usual reason for this question is that you had a symptom or an x-ray and it was not seen, is there malpractice? Most sclc is central and endobrohchial befre it is seen as nodal enlargement in the hilum or the medistinum. It is always caused by smoking.
Treatment can be quite successful.

In brief: Since it is the

Fastest growing lung cancer and the one that screeningchest x-rays rarely caught, the usual reason for this question is that you had a symptom or an x-ray and it was not seen, is there malpractice? Most sclc is central and endobrohchial befre it is seen as nodal enlargement in the hilum or the medistinum. It is always caused by smoking.
Treatment can be quite successful.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Thank
Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz
Surgery - Thoracic

In brief: Unknown

The best screening test for high risk patients 50y/o or older is a low dose cat scan thorax.
Traditional x-rays are likely to miss early lung cancers. Specially if centrally located.

In brief: Unknown

The best screening test for high risk patients 50y/o or older is a low dose cat scan thorax.
Traditional x-rays are likely to miss early lung cancers. Specially if centrally located.
Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz
Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz
Thank
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Appearance versus

Initiation time of small cell lung cancer.
Many will assert that they can tell by "doubling time" the non-small cell types. I find this speculative and not proven. Small cell seems to appear much more rapidly and be large and even metastatic at first appearance. A 1 cm lesion has 7 logs of cells. Small cell have less cell-loss than other tumors lacking apoptosis, it takes months to get this big.

In brief: Appearance versus

Initiation time of small cell lung cancer.
Many will assert that they can tell by "doubling time" the non-small cell types. I find this speculative and not proven. Small cell seems to appear much more rapidly and be large and even metastatic at first appearance. A 1 cm lesion has 7 logs of cells. Small cell have less cell-loss than other tumors lacking apoptosis, it takes months to get this big.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Crystal Twynham
Board Certified, Surgery
30 years in practice
938K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors