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Small cell lung cancer affects about 15% of lung cancer patients. Small cell lung cancer usually starts in the breathing tubes (bronchi) in the center of the chest. The cancer cells are small, but they usually grow very quickly and create large tumors.
These tumors often spread rapidly (metastasize) to other parts of the body, including the brain, liver, and bone.
At Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), our dedicated thoracic team of radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, surgeons and radiation oncologists work together to determine:
Anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease
is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you
will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn't mean that you will not
Risk factors for small cell lung cancer include:
Sometimes lung cancer does not cause any symptoms and is found during a routine chest X-ray.
Small cell lung cancer is often asymptomatic initially. As a result, it often spreads to other parts of the lung or to other organs before it is detected. As the cancer progresses, possible signs and symptoms include coughing, chest pain, and shortness
Consult your doctor if any of the following occur:
Read our Insight blog for information and inspiration about treatment for lung cancer at Dana-Farber.
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