Small cell lung cancer has a poor prognosis and its 5-year survival rate is relatively low. It is difficult to figure out how long a patient can live since the survival of small cell lung cancer is associated with many factors. Treatment regimens and patients’ physical function are the most important ones among them.
Since small cell lung cancer is characterized by a rapid expansion from the original site, surgery treatment is usually unsuitable for patients. Instead, small cell lung cancer, highly sensitive to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, is often treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy in clinical practices.
Currently, platinum-based chemotherapy is the most widely used therapy in advanced small cell lung cancer cases. Some drugs include taxanes, vinblastine and gemcitabine.
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy show good performance in inhibiting small cell lung cancer, with about 70% of advanced cancer patients relieving cancer symptoms. They do well in relieving local primary lesions and metastatic lesions to control the progression of cancer, but the cure is very hard.
Physical function is also one of the important factors that affect the survival of small cell lung cancer patients. Patient’s improvement in physical function and immunity can help resist the progression of malignant cancer. Improving the patient’s physical ability, enhancing immunity, and increasing resistance to malignant tumors are extremely important for patients with advanced small cell lung cancer.
Diet can be a useful weapon to enhance the physical function of patients. Patients with advanced small cell lung cancer should eat more healthy foods such as salmon, ginger, walnuts and berries. Foods like ginkgo, radish, pear, almonds and orange can also help relieve coughs. Additionally, mushrooms and longan are good choices for reducing the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Exercise plays an import role in extending the survival of patients with small cell lung cancer. There is strong evidence that being physically active and exercising regularly is important for the health, function, quality of life and potentially survival of people with cancer. The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia in a position statement suggests that exercise should be prescribed to all cancer patients. Patients are advised to do exercise to improve the body’s aerobic fitness, muscular strength and functional ability.
It is hard to determine that how long a small cell lung cancer patient can live. Generally, choosing appropriate treatment regimens and improving physical function, as well as maintaining an optimistic attitude can significantly prolong the survival of patients with small cell lung cancer.