Medicine & USMLE

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Lung Cancer
  1. Lung Cancer Overview
  2. Small Cell Carcinoma
  3. Adenocarcinoma
  4. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  5. Large Cell Carcinoma
  6. Bronchial Carcinoid Tumor

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a subtype of of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), characterized by the appearance of squamous cells: thin, flat cells that resemble "fish scales" under the microscope.

Patients are typically male, with a long history of smoking. Lesions are typically central (near hilar nodes), with cavitating lesions seen on X-ray or CT.

Notably, these tumors can ectopically secrete PTH-related protein (PTHrP),resulting in parathyroid-like hypercalcemia and hypophosphatemia . Labs show increased calcium, decreased PTH (compensatory response to PTHrP), and low to normal vitamin D levels.

Pathology on tumor biopsies will reveal keratin pearls and intercellular bridges.

Find Squamous Cell Carcinoma and other Lung Cancer topics among Pixorize's visual mnemonics for the USMLE Step 1 and NBME Shelf Exams.