Quick Quiz: Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Page 1 of 7: Lung Cancer


Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women, and is the leading cause of cancer death, making up almost 25% of annual cancer fatalities.1 The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 228,820 new cases of lung cancer (116,300 in men and 112,520 in women) will be diagnosed in 2020 and approximately 135,720 patients (72,500 men and 63,220 women) will die from the disease.1 Approximately 10% to 15% of lung cancer diagnoses are small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), which spreads faster than non–small-cell lung cancer.2 How much do you know about SCLC?

SCLC is an aggressive type of lung cancer that responds well to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However most patients diagnosed with SCLC will experience disease recurrence.1 SCLC is named for the size and shape of the cancer cells under a microscope, and begins in the nerve cells or hormone-producing cells of the lungs.2 The majority of individuals diagnosed with SCLC are aged >65 years, with the median age at diagnosis being 70 years. The 5-year overall survival rate for SCLC is 6% for all stages combined; 27% for localized disease; 16% for regional disease; and 3% for distant disease.2 Cure is difficult to achieve because SCLC has a greater tendency to be widely disseminated by the time it is diagnosed.3 Public awareness of SCLC needs to remain a priority to increase survival rates, reduce incidence rates, and improve patient quality of life.