Are the Symptoms of Small Cell Lung Cancer Different Than Those of Other Types of Lung Cancer?

The various types of lung cancer can be categorized as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Each of these categories includes several different sub-types of lung cancer. Because there are different lung cancer types, many individuals wonder if small cell lung cancers produces symptoms that are different from other types of lung cancer. However, it first helps to have an idea of what types of symptoms are associated with small cell lung cancers.

What are some small cell lung cancer symptoms?

Some individuals may not experience any symptoms until the cancer has advanced to a later stage. When symptoms do appear, the most common ones associated with small cell lung cancers include:

  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up bloody mucus
  • A chronic cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Appetite loss
  • Swelling in the neck area

How do these symptoms differ from those of non-small cell lung cancer?

All of these symptoms are also common in non-small cell lung cancers. Additionally, fatigue and unexpected weight loss can occur for both of these categories of lung cancer. However, they are more common for small cell lung cancers because these types of cancers are more likely to spread rapidly. That being said, only a physician can determine what type of lung cancer a patient has, as medical imaging and other tests are required to diagnose lung cancer.

What to do if you have symptoms of lung cancer

If you are experiencing any symptoms of lung cancer, you can find the diagnostic, treatment and supportive care services you require at Moffitt Cancer Center. The multispecialty team that makes up our Thoracic Oncology Program collaborates in regular tumor board meetings to ensure our patients receive comprehensive treatment and care in order to achieve the best chance of a positive outcome and improved quality of life.

To learn more about the small cell lung cancer diagnosis and treatment options we offer, schedule an appointment at Moffitt by calling 1-888-663-3488 or filling out a new patient registration form. No referral is needed for an initial consultation.