How is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) subtype of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) characterized?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

SCC accounts for 25-30% of all lung cancers. Whereas adenocarcinoma tumors are peripheral in origin, SCC is found in the central parts of the lung (see the image below). The classic manifestation is a cavitary lesion in a proximal bronchus. This type is characterized histologically by the presence of keratin pearls and can be detected with cytologic studies because it has a tendency to exfoliate. It is the type most often associated with hypercalcemia.

Non–small cell lung cancer. A cavitating right lower lobe squamous cell carcinoma.

Non–small cell lung cancer. A cavitating right low Non–small cell lung cancer. A cavitating right lower lobe squamous cell carcinoma.

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