Small Cell Lung Cancer

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Jan 12, 2019

Most of the discussions about lung cancer has been about Non-small cell lung cancers. There are many sub-types of this that are included. But there is another type of lung cancer that needs to be discussed and that is Small Cell Lung Cancer. This aggressive form of lung cancer most commonly occurs in smokers. It usually starts in the breathing tubes (bronchi) and grows very quickly, creating large tumors and spreading (metastasizing) throughout the body.
Symptoms include bloody phlegm, cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
Treatment includes surgery (for small tumors) as well as chemotherapy, sometimes in combination with radiation therapy.
Lung cancers cells are sometimes classified by where they tend to grow.
There have been huge breakthroughs in lung cancer research of late.
Please join @margot69 and I in this new disussion.

@margot69

Thank you for starting this discussion, Merry. I was just diagnosed with SCLC. A PET scan showed a spot in my left lung, nodes and 3 spots on my liver. A liver biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. If you smoke or not, if you ever smoked, if you worked in an industry tgat coukd cause lung issues, if you are over a certain age, insist on at least a low dose CT!! I had a cough for months doctors just attributed to smoking. This was not a smoker's cough. My doctors were unfamiliar with LDCT and none available in my area. I knew of this because my cousin's doctor, in NC, has had her do them for 3 years. I kept after my Pulmonologist who would just respond to quit smoking. Finally, he says, "I will order a CT, if it will make you feel better, but it probably won't show anything." Had the test and get a call to call his office ASAP! By now, this had been going on for about 4 months! So, now I am in the nightmare of urgency. He tells me to start treatment or I am going to die. I can't even get into see an Oncologist here until next week. I called Stanford and will get a call back in 2-4 days. I would like to know if anyone has been treated at Stanford. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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Margo, my husband was just diagnosed with small cell lung cancer which has spread to his liver and bladder. The diagnosis is poor, yet with new treatments, keeping it at bay and living with it is increasingly possible. They found his secondary tumor in the liver before Christmas and the primary lung mass on January 6th. Luckily we live in Tampa Florida and He decided to be treated at Moffitt by a small cell Thoracic specialist, Dr Alberto Chiappori who is doing a clinical trial For small cell endocrine Lung cancer study . He saw my husband and started him on a 3 cocktail Chemo and immunotherapy treatment immediately. Pop had his first treatment January 15th,16th and 17th. So far he has had NO side effects, yet fatigue often happens this second week.
We have been told that This type of cancer is very effective when treated with Chemo. I have posted the 3 drugs he is receiving, should you want to read that post as well. Happy to speak with you if you like.

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@popkorhn

Margo, my husband was just diagnosed with small cell lung cancer which has spread to his liver and bladder. The diagnosis is poor, yet with new treatments, keeping it at bay and living with it is increasingly possible. They found his secondary tumor in the liver before Christmas and the primary lung mass on January 6th. Luckily we live in Tampa Florida and He decided to be treated at Moffitt by a small cell Thoracic specialist, Dr Alberto Chiappori who is doing a clinical trial For small cell endocrine Lung cancer study . He saw my husband and started him on a 3 cocktail Chemo and immunotherapy treatment immediately. Pop had his first treatment January 15th,16th and 17th. So far he has had NO side effects, yet fatigue often happens this second week.
We have been told that This type of cancer is very effective when treated with Chemo. I have posted the 3 drugs he is receiving, should you want to read that post as well. Happy to speak with you if you like.

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@popkorhn– I am sorry that I have been away. I had a scary bout of very bad vertigo. I'm much better now but waiting to see a specialist for this. Now that the room has stopped twirling I can type!
Fatigue is a BIG problem and side effect of many cancer treatments and I know that you know this. It must be great that he has no other side effects, so far as this writing.
It might be a great idea to get him outside and walk for a bit- or until he wants to rest. How is his appetite?

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@merpreb

@popkorhn– I am sorry that I have been away. I had a scary bout of very bad vertigo. I'm much better now but waiting to see a specialist for this. Now that the room has stopped twirling I can type!
Fatigue is a BIG problem and side effect of many cancer treatments and I know that you know this. It must be great that he has no other side effects, so far as this writing.
It might be a great idea to get him outside and walk for a bit- or until he wants to rest. How is his appetite?

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After his first round of Chemo for 3 days, there has been no side effects at all. He had an anti nausea medication drip with his first treatment. He still has a Great Appetite and he exercises 5 days a week , playing pickleball or golfing. We are waiting for the fatigue to appear but so far so good. Three more rounds of treatment to see where we are. If the treatment is not working, then we will seek a second opinion. We are just seeking Out any other Small cell lung cancer treatment alternatives at this point. I have not seen any alternatives thus far.

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@popkorhn

After his first round of Chemo for 3 days, there has been no side effects at all. He had an anti nausea medication drip with his first treatment. He still has a Great Appetite and he exercises 5 days a week , playing pickleball or golfing. We are waiting for the fatigue to appear but so far so good. Three more rounds of treatment to see where we are. If the treatment is not working, then we will seek a second opinion. We are just seeking Out any other Small cell lung cancer treatment alternatives at this point. I have not seen any alternatives thus far.

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@popkorhn– I hear you, I really do. Small cell cancers are very potent and are difficult to treat. I am happy to hear that Pop is still this active! Wow! He's feisty! This is a great great sign for a positive outlook on life. All engines at full blast! Please, please be careful about seeking an alternative treatments outside of conventional medicine. I agree that a second opinion would be the next step- but aside from that I completely understand. I also love my husband enough that if he were ill would try to go the ends of the earth to maybe find a cure. I hope that you are getting enough good sleep. How are you holding up?

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I am good .we both play pickleball together 5 days a week. Hopefully this treatment will work for him. So far so good. We just want another option, should this treatment not be successful to hold this aggressive cancer at bay. Hopefully all will go well .

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@popkorhn

I am good .we both play pickleball together 5 days a week. Hopefully this treatment will work for him. So far so good. We just want another option, should this treatment not be successful to hold this aggressive cancer at bay. Hopefully all will go well .

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@popkorhn– I'm with you all the way on this. Please give Pop my greetings and my best.

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@margot69

Happy you have joined, lady. I am Stage IV now with nodes and spots on my liver. Brain MRI was clear, so far. If the doctors had listened to me for months, maybe this would have been caught sooner. I haven't even seen an Oncologist yet! Praying we can all beat it. Were you sick from the treatments and where were you treated? Since this is a Mayo discussion board, I assume there.

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Margo, My husband was diagnosed with Small Cell cancer that has metastasized to his liver with a clear Brain scan thus far. He started his first round of Chemo and immunotherapy therapy last week with no side effects at all. Praying that more trials will produce a cure, while hoping to keep his cancer at bay until a cure is found. Happy to share his 3 chemo drug/immuno cocktail info if you like.

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@margot69

Happy you have joined, lady. I am Stage IV now with nodes and spots on my liver. Brain MRI was clear, so far. If the doctors had listened to me for months, maybe this would have been caught sooner. I haven't even seen an Oncologist yet! Praying we can all beat it. Were you sick from the treatments and where were you treated? Since this is a Mayo discussion board, I assume there.

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My husband, PopKorhn, was diagnosed with stage 4 SCLC January 9th. This is such a scary fast moving cancer. He had his first round of Chemo and Immunotherapy series Without any side effects at all! His second round is next week, Jan 26,27, 28th . He goes every 3 weeks ,for 4 series ,then will be scanned to see if this treatment is working. Planning for the future is hard when we just do not know what the future will bring. B

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@popkorhn

Margo, my husband was just diagnosed with small cell lung cancer which has spread to his liver and bladder. The diagnosis is poor, yet with new treatments, keeping it at bay and living with it is increasingly possible. They found his secondary tumor in the liver before Christmas and the primary lung mass on January 6th. Luckily we live in Tampa Florida and He decided to be treated at Moffitt by a small cell Thoracic specialist, Dr Alberto Chiappori who is doing a clinical trial For small cell endocrine Lung cancer study . He saw my husband and started him on a 3 cocktail Chemo and immunotherapy treatment immediately. Pop had his first treatment January 15th,16th and 17th. So far he has had NO side effects, yet fatigue often happens this second week.
We have been told that This type of cancer is very effective when treated with Chemo. I have posted the 3 drugs he is receiving, should you want to read that post as well. Happy to speak with you if you like.

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My aunt has just been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer that has spread to her liver and bone. We would love to know the medicines you are speaking about in this 3 drug cocktail.

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@popkorhn

Margo, My husband was diagnosed with Small Cell cancer that has metastasized to his liver with a clear Brain scan thus far. He started his first round of Chemo and immunotherapy therapy last week with no side effects at all. Praying that more trials will produce a cure, while hoping to keep his cancer at bay until a cure is found. Happy to share his 3 chemo drug/immuno cocktail info if you like.

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It's very scary when someone tells you that you may at the most have 3 months to live without treatment and a year with. And it's so hard to get anything done. We have fought to move up days and pre approve things with the insurance. It's scary.

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@besswillis

It's very scary when someone tells you that you may at the most have 3 months to live without treatment and a year with. And it's so hard to get anything done. We have fought to move up days and pre approve things with the insurance. It's scary.

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Hi @besswillis and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Getting such news is hard to accept.
@popkorhn talks more about the chemo drugs her husband is receiving in this earlier post https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/small-cell-lung-cancer-1/?pg=8#comment-358804 I'm confident that she will return to share more about their experience with chemo and immunotherapy.

Bess, is this your aunt's first diagnosis or is this cancer that has returned? How is your aunt feeling? How are you doing?

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@popkorhn

My husband, PopKorhn, was diagnosed with stage 4 SCLC January 9th. This is such a scary fast moving cancer. He had his first round of Chemo and Immunotherapy series Without any side effects at all! His second round is next week, Jan 26,27, 28th . He goes every 3 weeks ,for 4 series ,then will be scanned to see if this treatment is working. Planning for the future is hard when we just do not know what the future will bring. B

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@popkorhn– Good morning. I think that the only thing that you can do now is to make sure that all of your legal papers are in order. If you aren't sure what they are in your state I'm sure that a lawyer can let you know what you need. The second thing that you can plan depends on how Pop feels and whether he is in treatment. Otherwise, I would think that the world is wide open to you. Do what you want, when you want to. As difficult as it is to make future plans it's that easy to cancel plans if you need to. Being honest about what your hesitancy is for making plans is all about people being forgiving and understanding. How are you doing? How is Pop? How did he do with his second round?

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