Metastatic Squamous Neck Cancer Occult Primary
Metastatic squamous neck cancer with occult primary is a disease in which squamous cell cancer spreads to lymph nodes in the neck and it is not known where the cancer first formed in the body. The diagnosis of an occult primary tumor is made only if no primary tumor is detected after careful search and does not appear during therapy.
Squamous cells are thin, flat cells found in tissues that form the surface of the skin and the lining of body cavities such as the mouth, hollow organs such as the uterus and blood vessels, and the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Cancer can begin in squamous cells anywhere in the body and spread through the blood or lymph system to other parts of the body.
When squamous cell cancer spreads to lymph nodes in the neck or around the collarbone, it is called metastatic squamous neck cancer. The doctor will try to find the primary tumor where the cancer first formed, because treatment for metastatic cancer is the same as treatment for the primary tumor. For example, when lung cancer spreads to the neck, the cancer cells in the neck are lung cancer cells, and they are treated the same as the cancer in the lung.Metastatic Squamous Neck Cancer with Occult Primary Treatment (Adult) (PDQ®)
Source: National Cancer Institute