Small cell lung cancer staging

Previously, small cell lung cancer was not staged in the same manner as non small cell lung cancer, on account of it almost never being resectable at the time of diagnosis, except in rare cases where it appears as a solitary pulmonary nodule.

  • limited
    • disease confined to one hemithorax
    • inclusive of hilar/supraclavicular lymph nodes
    • patients are suitable for radiation therapy as well as chemotherapy
  • extensive
    • disease extends beyond one hemithorax
    • patients receive only chemotherapy
    • accounts for 70% of cases

Editor note: since 2013 small cell lung cancer is staged in the same way as non small cell lung cancer.

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