Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 402-403

Scalp metastasis from squamous cell carcinoma of the lung

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Justice K S Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, Mangalore, India
2 Department of Medicine, Justice K S Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, Mangalore, India

Date of Web Publication29-Nov-2010

Correspondence Address:
Channappa Patil
Department of Oncology, Justice K S Hegde Charitable Hospital, Deralakatte, Mangalore
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.73331

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Patil C, Permi H. Scalp metastasis from squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. J Can Res Ther 2010;6:402-3

How to cite this URL:
Patil C, Permi H. Scalp metastasis from squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Jan 21];6:402-3. Available from: https://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2010/6/3/402/73331


A 60-year-old male presented to the dermatology outpatient department with two painless nodules in the scalp. His physical examination was unremarkable except for the two firm swellings over the scalp and poor performance status [Figure 1]. Fine needle aspiration cytology revealed atypical keratinized squamous cells arranged in clusters and singly. The cells were pleomorphic, having scanty to moderate amount of cytoplasm and enlarged hyperchromatic nucleus with coarse chromatin. Because the patient was a chronic smoker and performance status 3, a chest X-ray was performed. The chest X-ray showed a mass lesion with spiculated borders in the left mid zone. Computerized tomography of the chest revealed a mass in the left lower lobe close to the left bronchus and liver metastasis. Bronchoscopy and biopsy of the lesion confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the lung [Figure 2].
Figure 1: Firm nodular swelling over the scalp

Click here to view
Figure 2: Squamous cell carcinoma

Click here to view

Cutaneous metastasis in primary lung cancer is unusual, with an incidence estimated at <5%. [1] The most common sites for skin metastasis in lung cancer are the chest and the abdominal wall. [2] This is presumably due to the high body surface area of these regions and also the closeness to the site of the primary neoplasm. Scalp metastasis, however, is unusual in primary lung cancer.

According to the case series published on lung cancer, [3] the more common histological types that metastasize to skin are large cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, while epidermoid or squamous cell carcinoma show the least tendency for skin metastasis. [2] Our case, however, was one of squamous cell carcinoma. As the patient was not fit for palliative chemotherapy, he was given the best supportive care. The patient expired 2 months after the diagnosis. Most studies indicate that the overall prognosis in patients with skin metastasis from primary lung cancer is poor, with median survival rates of <6 months. [4]

Physicians are likely to recognize a new skin lesion and skin biopsy or fine needle aspiration cytology should be performed from the lesions located even at uncommon sites. Squamous carcinoma of the lung is a rare source but should be considered if the patient is a chronic smoker and has poor performance status, as was seen in our case.

 > References Top

1.Terashima T, Kanazawa M. Lung cancer with skin metastasis. Chest 1994;106:1448-50.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Hidaka T, Ishii Y, Kitamura S. Clinical features of skin metastasis from lung cancer. Intern Med 1996;35:459-62.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Perng DW, Chen CH, Lee YC, Perng RP. Cutaneous metastasis of lung cancer: An ominous prognostic sign. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 1996;57:343-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Krathen RA, Orengo IF, Rosen T. Cutaneous metastasis: A meta-analysis of data. South Med J 2003;96:164-7.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  >Article Figures
  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded163    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal