Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung is closely correlated with a history of tobacco smoking.
This cancer is more common in males than females.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung is typically located in the central portion of the lung and usually arises from larger bronchi. Recall that small cell lung carcinoma also arises centrally.
This tumor is commonly located in the central portion of the lung. Large tumors may undergo central necrosis, resulting in a cavitating lesion. The cavitating lesion can be seen on imaging as extending to the hilum.
This tumor may secrete parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) which acts similar to parathyroid hormone (PTH). Recall that PTH acts to increase plasma calcium levels and decrease plasma phosphate levels. When the tumor releases PTHrP, it can lead to hypercalcemia and hypophosphatemia. Hypercalcemia may be the first sign of malignancy in some patients.
Histologic diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma is based upon the presence of keratin production by tumor cells or intercellular desmosomes also known as intercellular bridges. The hallmark of squamous cell carcinoma is evidence of keratinization, which may present as formation of keratin pearls.
Histologic diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma is based upon the presence of keratin production by tumor cells or intercellular desmosomes also known as intercellular bridges. These bridges link adjacent cells and are a diagnostic feature of squamous cell carcinoma.
Non-small cell lung cancers that present early in the disease process are generally treated upfront with surgical resection. Patients with metastatic disease outside of the chest are not candidates for surgical resection. Even with a complete resection, recurrence is still possible.
For patients who present early in the disease process, radiation therapy is an important adjunct to surgery. For patients who present in later stages of squamous cell lung cancer, radiation and chemotherapy are the mainstays of treatment.
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