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squamous cell carcinoma- What does this all mean?
May 5, 2002

what does this mean and what is the prognosis in laymans language?? Microscopic exam of the fine needle aspiration smears reveals numerous malignant cells, both singly and in aggregates showing hyperchromatic nuclei, some which contain atypical mitosis. the cytoplasm is somewhat condensed and basophilic in apperance. numerous red blood cells are also noted. the cell button reveals a small fragment of similar cells with suggestive keratin, consistent with squamous cell carinoma. P.S. Patient does not have HIV/Aids

Response from Dr. Dezube

It is indeed hard to believe that all the medical mumbo-jumbo actually means something. What you gave me is the pathology report which basically says the patient has squamous cell carcinoma, which is a very common form of cancer. The report says nothing more than that. The prognosis depends upon many many things.

Where did the cancer start? Squamous cell cancers can start in many locations-- the lung, the head and neck area, the esophagus, the anus, and so on, and so on. Where did the cancer spread? Has it spread to the lymph nodes, to vital organs? What's the overall health of the patient?

Without knowing the above information, no one can speculate about the prognosis. Many many cancers in the squamous cell carcinoma are curable and, as you can imagine, many squamous cell carcinomas are not curable. No one can say based on the info you gave.

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