Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive (fast-growing) disease where malignant cancer cells form in the tissues of the lung.
An average of 1 in every 8 patients diagnosed with lung cancer has small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage and has a rather poor prognosis.
For the majority of patients with small cell lung cancer, current treatments do not cure the cancer but aim to alleviate the symptoms related to the disease and control to some extent, the tumor growth. Usually, as this type of cancer is often diagnosed when in advanced stages, chemotherapy alone is the only treatment option available.
However, in some cases, approximately for 1 patient out of 4, a combination of radiation and chemotherapy can be offered, if the disease has not spread too much yet, thus achieving a better outcome.