Small cell carcinoma of the cervix

Small cell carcinoma of the cervix is a rare histological subtype of carcinoma of the cervix

Small cell carcinoma is thought to account for ~0.5-6% of all uterine cervical cancers 3

It is a type of neuroendocrine tumour and is similar to pulmonary small cell carcinoma (contains neuroendocrine granules). Small cell carcinoma can consist of heterologous tumour cells because some cells are of epithelial origin and others are of neuroendocrine origin. 

Papanicolaou's smears, a popular screening method for uterine cervix cancer, is not sensitive for the diagnosis of small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix. 

While there are no specific imaging features for this subtype at the time of writing, patients with small cell carcinoma of the cervical often show advanced disease on imaging (e.g. parametrial invasion and lymphadenopathy) at the time of their initial imaging assessment (even for small tumours 3).   

It is an aggressive tumour with a propensity for early spread into the uterine body, rapid recurrence; it is associated with high mortality 2-3. Surgery is often not a treatment option ref.

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Article Information

rID: 17842
System: Gynaecology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Small cell carcinoma of cervix
  • Cervical small cell carcinoma
  • Neuroendocrine small cell carcinoma of the cervix
  • Neuroendocrine small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix
  • Small cell carcinoma of uterine cervix
  • Small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix
  • Small cell carcinoma (cervix)

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