Large Cell Carcinoma

What is large cell carcinoma?

Lung cancers are widely divided into- small cell lung cancers and non-small cell lung cancers. Large cell carcinoma is categorized as a non-small cell cancer. Usually, large cell carcinoma begins in the central portion of the lung. It is known as large cell lung cancer as the abnormal cells appear large when viewed through a microscope. Large cell carcinomas develop and spread very quick than other types of non-small cell cancers. There is a chance that, large cell carcinoma may spread to the chest wall and lymph nodes.

What are the symptoms of large cell carcinoma?

A persistent cough is the major symptom of large cell carcinoma. Other symptoms of this condition are:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Wheezing

  • Bloody cough

  • Pneumonia

  • Loss of appetite

How is large cell carcinoma diagnosed?

Other than physical examination and medical history analysis, the doctor may suggest the following tests to diagnose large cell carcinoma in a patient:

  • CT scan

  • Chest x-ray

  • PET scans

  • Biopsy

  • Sputum cytology

  • Mediastinoscopy

  • Thoracentesis

  • Video-assisted thoracoscopy surgery

  • Bronchoscopy

How is large cell carcinoma treated?

Treatment may vary according to the stage of cancer, size of the tumor and place of the tumor. The main objective of any treatment is to decrease the size or remove the tumor. Therapies can be used to shrink the tumor. The doctor may suggest chemotherapy or radiation therapy. However, to avoid the recurrence of the tumor, surgery will be helpful. A new kind of radiation therapy called ‘Cyberknife’ has been introduced to treat large cell carcinomas. It might be a good option to those who do not want to have surgery.