How does non-small cell lung cancer differ from small cell?

Non-small cell lung cancer differs from small cell lung cancer in the type of cells affected and in where it typically is located in the lung. Small cell lung cancer is also called oat cell cancer and comprises about 10 percent to 15 percent of all lung cancers. Since there are different types of lung cancers they are treated differently, so it is important to distinguish which type of lung cancer a person has. The prognosis differs between the different types of lung cancer.

Small-cell lung cancer is often a deadly disease, although it can be cured, and you will most likely be dealing with the condition for the rest of your life. Prognosis for small-cell lung cancer is better the sooner the condition is diagnosed. If your doctor catches it early, there is a 50/50 chance you will live for another 5 years. If the cancer has spread before your doctor detects it, those chances are much slimmer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.