Squamous Cell Lung Cancer

The squamous cell lung carcinoma is a pulmonary tumor, which is not benign. If a patient is being diagnosed with squamous cell lung cancer, the health care team, which consists of oncologists, radiologists and the thoracic surgeon give special attention to the patient’s disease process, the extent of spread and the treatment, which is then being outlined.

Origin Of Squamous Cell Lung Cancer & Its Lethality

The squamous cell lung cancer is epithelial in origin. This cancer is very lethal in its nature, as it is a malignant cancer and the tumor is not restricted to the lung but spreads to different organ systems in the body, as well as also different lobes of the lung.

Causative Factors Of Lung Cancer:

There are many factors that cause lung cancer. These factors are listed as follows:

  • Smoking.
  • Environmental pollutants.
  • Radon.
  • Asbestos.

Signs And Symptoms Of Lung Cancer:

There are several signs and symptoms of lung cancer, which are as follows:

  • Chronic cough.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Weight loss & loss of appetite.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fever without a known reason.
  • Wheezing.
  • Repeated bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia.
  • Chest pain.

What Should One Do If There Are Any Of These Signs And Symptoms?

If a person is suffering from any of the above signs and symptoms, one should get in touch with their health care provider as soon as possible because these symptoms need immediate attention.

The Cancer Has The Capacity To Metastasize

The squamous cell lung cancer has the capacity to spread to other organs, which include kidney or bone. When the cancer spreads to bones, there is increased density with the development of new periosteal bones.

What Is The Protocol Being Followed By Physicians?

When the patient reports their signs and symptoms to the doctors, there is a set of protocols or a standard procedure that the patient goes through, which includes:

1. Medical History Taking.

2. Physical Examination.

3. Laboratory Investigations.

4. Chest x-ray.

5. PET scan.

6. CT scan.

7. MRI scan.

8. Tumor marker study.

9. Treatment.

Medical History Taking: This is the first and foremost step in which the physician asks a number of questions from the patient regarding their chief complaint and for how long they are having these symptoms, how it all started, had they have those symptoms in the past, family history, occupational history, health habits, social history, any previous diagnostic tests or laboratory studies and in the last they give their impression and plan as to how they are going to follow the studies, which also includes sending the patient to the lab to get the laboratory studies that they need, as well as a chest x-ray as baseline studies.

Physical Examination: Physical examination is performed to look for signs such as movement of the chest with respiration, checking the color of the nails etc. These signs help to link up to the disease process.

Laboratory Workup: The laboratory workup is ordered to determine the level of hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cells, platelets in the blood, as well as other laboratory tests to look for the chemical changes occurring in the blood. The coughed up mucus is also sent to the lab to look for cells present.

Chest X-Ray: This is being performed as a baseline workup to see the status of the lungs and to see for any opacities that appear as shadows in the chest x-ray.

Other Investigations: There are advanced techniques that are being used to determine the exact location of the tumor foci in the lungs. The techniques that are used are: CT scan, PET scan, MRI scan. These days there is an advanced technique used, which is known as low-dose CT scan, which is very sensitive than a chest x-ray and is used to detect cancers at a pretty early stage.

Presence Of Tumor Markers: There are tumor markers that are found in the blood of a person suffering from the squamous cell carcinoma, which is parathyroid hormone-like protein, squamous cell carcinoma antigen.

Treatment: The treatment regimen is outlined in detail by a doctor who is an oncologist after going through a detailed understanding of the disease process. The decision depends mainly on the size, location and the extent of the tumor, as well as the general health of the patient and other disease processes one is going through. The main approaches that the doctors use are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, combined radiochemotherapy.

a. Surgery: Surgery is the main approach as it can cure the disease process in which the affected portions of the lungs are excised on the basis that the squamous cell cancer has not spread into other organ structures. There are also some tumors that cannot be removed because of their location and size of them.

b. Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is the technique where the doctors use the high energy x-rays that kills the cancer cells. The radiation therapy can be given alone, as well as in a combination with the chemotherapy.

c. Chemotherapy: There are different chemotherapy regimens that are given alone, as well as in a combination with the radiotherapy. A few names to list the chemotherapy drugs are as follows; oral etoposide, etoposide and cisplatin, as well as paclitaxel.

d. Supportive Therapy: There is also supportive therapy that is being given alongside the other treatment forms as mentioned above. The supportive treatment includes usage of corticosteroid treatment such as prednisolone.

e. Radioactive Implants: Radioactive implants are used as a treatment form for squamous cell lung cancer. The radioactive implant treatment is being done alongside the surgery and these radioactive implants emit continuous wave radiations. The growth of squamous cell lung cancer is at a very fast pace and therefore one cannot guarantee that the treatment forms will cure the person from the disease.


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