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General Staging in SCLC


KatieB

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*Staging of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Although small cell lung cancers can be staged like NSCLC, most doctors prefer a 2-stage system. These are "limited stage" and "extensive stage." Limited stage usually means that the cancer is only in one lung and in lymph nodes on the same side of the chest.

Spread of the cancer to the other lung, to lymph nodes on the other side of the chest, or to distant organs indicates extensive disease. Many doctors consider small cell lung cancer that has spread to the fluid around the lung an extensive stage.

Small cell lung cancer is staged in this way because it helps separate patients who have a fair prognosis and may be cured, from those who have a worse outlook with no chance of cure. About two-thirds of the people with small cell lung cancer have extensive disease when their cancer is first found.

(*from the American Cancer Institute)

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Thanks Katie, I have seen so many questions about the difference in staging for these different types.

May I add that even extensive stage there is hope. I know the experts say there is no cure for us BUT there are a few of us that keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny. We always have HOPE.

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Love Cindy

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Thanks for adding that Cindy.

It was clear that we had to post something on both types of LC about staging because people always want to know that information...and this information came straight from ACS.

but I HATE THIS STATEMENT,

from ACS. "Small cell lung cancer is staged in this way because it helps separate patients who have a fair prognosis and may be cured, from those who have a worse outlook with no chance of cure."

and I was so glad to see you reply with your message of inspiration!!!

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  • 1 month later...

"No chance of cure" does NOT, however, preclude staying "stable" for a long, long, time...having a remission or period of NED (No Evidence of Disease) and/or a plain old MIRACLE!!

"No chance of cure" is NOT the same as a death sentence, NO MATTER WHAT THE ACS OR ANY STATISTICS SAY!!

Thanks, Katie, for explaining for all...the differences in staging between sclc and nsclc. But as Cindy said, Hope is a major key to removing much of the "scary stuff" from an extensive dx.

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Someone had asked me to post some general staging information and since I am not a medical professional I chose to post this excerp from the ACS.

I have witnessed miracles here everyday and I absolutely believe there are people proving statistics wrong each and every day!

I certainly did not post this to take away any hope. Let me add again that this is an excerp from the American Cancer Society. This is not my personal opinion or view. And I posted it because someone asked me to.

thanks! :lol:

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  • 3 years later...

Extensive SCLC is a statistically ominous dx. However, understanding the meaning of the statistics provides hope as well as despair. Everything is based on averages and the average survival rate is based on ALL pts diagnosed (those who are older, sicker, with multiple mets, those who are quite sick at dx, etc. as well as those with single mets, who are younger, in better health, etc. The onc's quote studies that combine all extensive sclc patients thus the negative portion of the statistic model includes pts with the more negative presentations as well as those with better presentations. Were their studies separating the specific condictions of the universe of extensive sclc pts, the statistics would look quite a bit better.

Thus, doing all things to move yourself from 'below the line' [50% percentile] to above where possible statistically improves your survival rate - not a miracle, just ststistics and common sense. E.g. statisticaly, 75% of reocurrence of extensive SCLC recurs to brain. Therefor WBR (or PCI) has been found to diminish that number by 20-25%, thereby lowering statistically probabilityof reocurrence to brain (the prinipal killer) and therefore increasing chances of survival - that's not a miracle - that's just common sense.

Thousands have extensive ext. sclc, (inlcuding me) and if even 15% survive long term, that's a BIG number - and can be you. The take-away here is that, under some circumstances, you can control, to some degree, your future - it is not simply fate and miracles. Where possible make the statistics work for you as opposed to being their prisoner.

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Katie, thanks for this thread. I didn't know that SCLC and NSCLC were staged differently and it caused some confusion when I talked to people at my new Cancer Support Group. Now I know that's probably true for cancers other than lung cancer.

Judy in Key West

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