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Information about squamous cell carcinoma - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Skin Cancer
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 40 Questions
User :   I have a few questions about squamish cell carcinoma.
Doctor :   hi
User :   hello
Doctor :   Dr.XXX here.
User :   nice to meet you
Doctor :   please proceed with your health query
User :   ok
User :   my grandmother had some ent issues
Doctor :   ok
User :   she had a paralyzed vocal cord
User :   which is better now
User :   but they never really found the cause
Doctor :   ok
User :   a lymph node biopsy was performed
Doctor :   ok
User :   and they found squamish cancer cells
Doctor :   what did it show?
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   what stage did they tel it is?
User :   she was a smoker for many years
Doctor :   what treatment was suggested ?
Doctor :   ok
User :   hasnt got that far
User :   shes got an appointment with an oncologist tomorrow
Doctor :   ok
User :   we just found out the cancerous cells were squamish cells today
Doctor :   let her get the examination and consultation done.
Doctor :   he/she will suggest whether chemotherapy is enough or radiotherapy is also needed
User :   she
User :   she had a chest xray done less than a month ago
Doctor :   ok. was the chest x-ray done?
User :   and they didnt find anything except for a nipple shadow
Doctor :   ok
User :   also
Doctor :   sorry, i meant to ask if the chest x-ray done was normal
User :   her calcium level has been high for quite a while
User :   10. something
Doctor :   ok
User :   what does that make you think?
Doctor :   raised calcium levels could be due to many reasons including cancer.
Doctor :   what were the other investigations done?
User :   she was on meds and her doc was concerned about kidney stones
Doctor :   ok.
User :   i know she prob needs to talk to her oncologist and prob get a pet scan
Doctor :   yes she would need it to be done
Doctor :   to look for cancer metastasis
User :   well its metastizing through the lympatic system already right?
User :   if they found it in the lymph node biopsy
Doctor :   yes, it can spread through lymphatics if it has been found in the lymph node.
Doctor :   so a PET scan will help to identify where all the possible mets could be
Doctor :   and based on the PET scan results, the treatment will be selected
User :   what are survival rates and times for this type of cancer?
Doctor :   the survival rate can be told after the PET scan results as it wil help to classify the current status.
User :   assuming its lung cancer
Doctor :   the prognosis would depend on the cancer staging
User :   and she had a clean chest xray on may 24th
Doctor :   and whether it is laryngeal cancer or lung cancer or breast cancer
Doctor :   if eh chest x-ray did not show any abnormality in teh lungs, then probaility of lung cancer is minimal
Doctor :   except for the metastasis if any
Doctor :   *probability
User :   hmm
Doctor :   because if it was primary lung cancer, then there would have been abnormalities detected in the chest x-ray.
User :   even a month ago?
User :   well 3 weeks
Doctor :   yes even a month ago. cancer cells have difference in appearance and cause more blood flow towards them, so the changes would have been seen if any.
User :   im not sure how lung cancer becomes detectable
User :   *how quickly
Doctor :   there are tumor markers that can be tested in blood
Doctor :   to see if any cancer is there
Doctor :   these tumor markers are cancer specific antigens that are tested
Doctor :   and vary depending on the origin of it and also on the type of the cancer cells detected.
User :   can you explain to me the difference between small and non-small lung carinoma?
Doctor :   these are the cell types of the cancer cells and based on that, the type would be small cell carcinoma, and non-small cell carcinoma
Doctor :   the small cell carcinoma responds well to chemotherapy and radiation
User :   i am familiar with biology, you can get technical
Doctor :   and non small cell carcinoma is better treated surgically
User :   which type is faster growing?
User :   and more harmful
Doctor :   the variants of non small cell include squamous cell lung carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell lung carcinoma.
User :   im actually a physicist but i took a few biology classes in college heh
Doctor :   both are equally harmful , the small cell Ca responds wel initially to chemotherapy but goes worse later on
Doctor :   the non small cell if treated early surgically has good prognosis
Doctor :   it ultimately depends on the stage of the cancer.
Doctor :   i would suggest to wait for the oncologist consultation and results of PET scan.
Doctor :   to know the staging of it
Doctor :   and then discuss the further possibilities rather than based on assumptions
User :   i went to see her today and she has little appetite and gets tired from moving around the house
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   that is common symptoms of cancer.
User :   also she seemed kinda forgetful
Doctor :   she will be better once treatment is initiated
User :   what do you think is idicitive of a good oncologist?
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