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Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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Because small-cell lung cancer is diagnosed in most people when it is not curable, palliative care becomes important. The goal of palliative and terminal care is to manage pain and discomfort and enhance quality of life.

Palliative care not only focuses on comfort but also addresses the concerns of the patient’s family and loved ones. Caregivers may include family and friends in addition to doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.

Palliative and terminal care is often given in a hospital, hospice, or nursing home; however, it can also be provided at home.

The following organizations can help with palliative and terminal care:

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
(800) 658-8898 (Helpline)
nhpco_info@nhpco.org

Hospice Association of America
(202) 546-4759

Hospice Education Institute
(800) 331-1620
info@hospiceworld.org

Hospice Net
info@hospicenet.org

Lung Cancer Prevention

Unlike many other cancers, lung cancer is associated with known risk factors for the disease. The predominant cause of lung cancer is tobacco smoking; therefore, the most important means of preventing lung cancer is to quit smoking.

Products that are available to help quit smoking include nicotine gum, medicated nicotine sprays or inhalers, nicotine patches, and oral drugs. In addition, group therapy and behavioral training further increase the chances of quitting.

For information about how to quit smoking, visit the following links:

Other risk factors for lung cancer include asbestos, radon, and uranium exposure. Take precautions to reduce or eliminate exposure to such harmful substances.

Outlook for Small-Cell Lung Cancer

The success of treatment depends on the stage of small-cell lung cancer.

In most people with small-cell lung cancer, the disease has already spread to other organs of the body by the time it is diagnosed.

People with small-cell lung cancer in the advanced stage cannot be cured. They usually survive less than one year.

Treatment may be moderately successful for persons with limited-stage disease. In those whose lung cancer is limited to the lung, the five year survival rate is  about 52 percent.

The overall 5-year survival rate for persons with small-cell lung cancer is less than 20%. Also, long-term survivors have an increased change of having cancer again. 

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