Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer Prevention
Unlike 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 approximately 75% of 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. However, even with limited-stage disease, the median survival time is less than two years.
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.
Support Groups and Counseling
Support groups and counseling can help you feel less alone and can improve your ability to deal with the uncertainties and challenges that cancer brings.
Cancer support groups provide a forum where patients with cancer, survivors of cancer, or both can discuss the challenges that accompany the illness, as well as guide you in dealing with your concerns.
Support groups provide an opportunity to exchange information about the disease, give and take advice about managing side effects, and share feelings with others who are in a similar situation.
Support groups also help your family and friends deal with the stress of cancer.
Many organizations offer support groups for people with cancer and their loved ones. You can get information about such groups from your doctor, nurse, or hospital social worker.
The following organizations can help you with support and counseling:
- The AMC Cancer Fund provides current medical information and counseling for cancer issues.
- The Lung Cancer Alliance operates a national "phone buddies" program, in addition to other services.
- The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship is a survivor-led advocacy organization working exclusively on behalf of people with all types of cancer and their families.
For More Information
American Cancer Society
American Lung Association
National Cancer Institute
American Society of Clinical Oncology