What is Small Cell Carcinoma of Unknown Primary?
Small cell carcinoma of unknown primary is a type of cancer where small cell carcinoma cells (a type of highly malignant cancer that most commonly arises within the lungs) are detected, but the primary location, or the initial site of cancer, cannot be identified. This situation can pose significant challenges for diagnosis and treatment.
The symptoms of small cell carcinoma of unknown primary can vary greatly depending on the location of the tumour. However, common symptoms can include:
- Persistent cough or chest pain (if the cancer is in the lungs)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent fatigue or lethargy
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Unexplained pain or discomfort
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The exact cause of small cell carcinoma of unknown primary is unknown. However, risk factors associated with small cell carcinoma include smoking, exposure to certain chemicals, and a family history of cancer.
The diagnosis of small cell carcinoma of unknown primary often involves:
- Detailed medical history and physical examination
- Imaging tests such as CT scan, PET scan, or MRI to locate potential tumour locations
- Biopsy and histopathological examination to confirm the diagnosis
- Blood tests to assess overall health
The treatment for small cell carcinoma of unknown primary often involves:
- Chemotherapy: This is typically the first-line treatment for small cell carcinoma, given its propensity to spread early.
- Radiotherapy: High-energy rays are used to kill or shrink cancer cells.
- Surgery: In some cases where the tumour is localised, surgery may be considered.
- Immunotherapy: This newer type of cancer treatment boosts the body’s natural defences to fight the cancer.
What Support can we Give for Small Cell Carcinoma of Unknown Primary?
Small Cell Carcinoma of Unknown Primary is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Small Cell Carcinoma of Unknown Primary, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: