Lung Cancer Home > Small Cell Carcinoma

There are two main types of lung cancer (carcinoma):
Most cases of lung cancer are classified as non-small cell lung cancer. In addition to being less common, small cell lung cancer grows more quickly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the body.
The category of small cell cancer is broken down further into three types:
  • Small cell carcinoma (oat cell cancer)
  • Mixed small cell/large cell carcinoma
  • Combined small cell carcinoma.
Because small cell cancer grows and spreads so quickly, surgery is rarely used as a treatment. Chemotherapy, and in some cases, radiation, is usually recommended instead.
The most common symptoms of small cell cancer include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • A persistent cough that gets worse over time.
(To learn more about this condition, as well as the other types of lung cancer, click Small Cell Lung Cancer.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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