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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
April 2004

Pathology Quiz Case 1—Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(4):476-477. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.4.476

Small cell carcinoma, which is most often a pulmonary neoplasm, represents 25% to 35% of primary lung tumors.1 Extensive lung SmCC has an 8-month median survival rate, and limited-stage disease has a 5-year survival rate of 5% to 10% despite the standard treatment of combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy.2 Only 4% of SmCCs arise from extrapulmonary sites,3 including the head and neck region, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, uterine cervix, endometrium, bladder, prostate, kidneys, thymus, and breast.3 The most common location of SmCC in the head and neck is the larynx.4 Small cell carcinoma can also involve the minor salivary glands, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, major salivary glands, and, rarely, trachea, oral cavity, and oropharynx.4,5 Small cell carcinoma of the major salivary glands most commonly develops in the parotid gland.3

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