What Type of Expert Treats Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)?

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Topics include: Treatment and Understanding

Should small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients see a specialist? How can SCLC patients benefit from a specialist in comparison to a thoracic oncologist? Dr. Laura Chow from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance explains what a doctor with a specific area of expertise can provide for patients. 

Produced by Patient Power. We thank Celgene, Helsinn, Novartis and Genentech for their support.

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Do patients need to see a small cell lung cancer specialist, or do all thoracic oncologists know how to treat this disease? 

Dr. Chow:

So I think all thoracic specialists, you know, I think oncology has become so interesting and complex that we all have areas of interest, and most general oncologists do have a lot of on their plate in terms of the number of cancers that they have to know well and treat.  When you're seeing a thoracic specialist or a dedicated lung cancer specialist, that's all we see, and that's what we dedicate our practice and life to. And I think that's a much better way to get a second opinion, because I think we're a little more up to date and aware of all the new findings, the new research and all the clinical trials that are available out there. 

I think most of us that treat lung cancer are also small cell lung cancer specialists, but at most of what we call the National Comprehensive Cancer Network centers, there's at least one of us that's involved on the small cell lung cancer panel and focused on doing the guidelines for small cell lung cancer and have more of a special interest or focus.  

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on March 9, 2018