Small Cell Lung Cancer

What Is It?

Lung cancers are generally divided into two categories: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. That's because they tend to behavior differently.

Most small cell cancers start in the lung but they can first be discovered elsewhere in the body—for example in the bowel, bladder or prostate. Small cell cancers grow fast and spread quickly, so they are hard to cure. Small cell lung cancer was previously called oat cell cancer because the abnormal cells look like oats under the microscope. This term is not used today.

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