Like all forms of cancer, small cell carcinoma, is, usually fatal. Its manifestation as lung cancer has more incidence among men, especially those who smoke or are exposed to inert dust sized particles like those of asbestos. Limited and extensive are the two categories by which one understands the extent to which the disease is present. In the former case, the problem is limited only to the lungs and the bronchial tract while in the latter case, the cells would have spread outside the chest.
This disease is just like the other kinds of lung cancer as far as the symptoms manifest themselves. There is the usual problem with breathing, wheezing and coughing may be manifest in severe cases. The patient will often be found to be underweight. There may be excess sputum production. Early detection and starting the treatment early will help the patient's chances of survival.
It is universally accepted that smokers are the ones who are most likely to develop lung cancer. One may use a PET scan or MRI to aid the diagnosis and sometimes the biopsy would prove the results positive or otherwise. There are two ways to go about treating the disease. One is through the use of drugs. The other is by chemotherapy. While the former is found to be effective, there is always the possibility that the illness will return, because it is so resilient.
This illness is so tough that it quickly spreads to the other organs like the liver and the kidneys and then on to the brain. Surgical ways are never recommended and the chances of the patient surviving are very slim. It can originate from any part of the body. It mostly occurs in the lungs and most lung cancers have their beginning in the bronchi. There are known cases where the disease had originated from the wind pipe and alveoli. It is believed that the lung cancers begin as manifestations which are pre-cancerous and since these occur at the cellular level cannot be seen on examination by MRI or X-rays.
As time passes these develop into full-blown cancer which develop their own network to nourish the new cancer tissues. These then are seen as tumors. But by the time these tumors are detected, the affected tissues would have had enough time to move on to fresher pastures and once they metastasize then there is no stopping them.
The symptoms for this disease are:
Shortness of breathCoughing, including coughing up bloodWheezingLoss of appetiteLoss of weightUnusual tirednessSwelling the neck or face
Early detection could help in the treatment, though the doctors will not give you more than a fair share of survival. Though such cases are very rare, it would be the best to consult a doctor and clarify your doubts, if you find some of these symptoms showing up in your body.
There have been cases known where the treatment for cancer was started early and the patient survived.