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Monday, April 2, 2007

Squamous Cell Lung Carcinoma's Paraneoplastic Syndrome is HY

A 56 year old male has a 65 pack year smoking hx. He is seeing you today about recently having coughed up blood. He knows that this might be lung cancer and asks you for your expert opinion. Labs show hypercalcemia. Bronchoscopy reveals cells with atypical mitosis with some nuclei containing 3 to 4 metaphases.
The question is, it squamous or small cell cancer?

You really have to remember that squamous cell carcinoma releases PTHrP causing hypercalcemia.

Squamous Cell = Hypercalcemia

And since small and squamous both start with the letter S, I often mistake the 2 so here is what I made up to remember calcium when I hear squamous cell.

Calcium’s abbreviation is Ca2+ which looks like Calcium squared (Calcium2).

Squamous ≈ squared. And there you have it.


Bill said...

I found some interesting information about Squamous Cell Carcinoma here. Check it out!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is brilliant! Thank you! I"m annotating my entire FA with your pearls of wisdom. And the way to memorize milestones-near perfect!