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An official publication of the Middle-Eastern Association for Cancer Research
Clinical Cancer Investigation Journal
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Year: 2023   |   Volume: 12   |   Issue: 1   |   Page: 11-13     View issue

Urinary Bladder Primary Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Rare Case Description and Literature Review


Banyameen Iqbal1*, Harsh Kumar1, Vidya Vishwanathan1, Meesha Zaheer1, Charusheela Gore1

1Department of Pathology Dr. D.Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D.Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune – 411018, India.


Cancer of the urinary bladder is a commonly encountered malignancy of the urinary tract. The most common histologic type is Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). It accounts for 90-95% of all bladder cancers. It is usually seen in the sixth and seventh decades of life. Men are affected three to four times more than women. The remaining 5-10% of the bladder tumors are other types of epithelial and mesenchymal tumors. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the urinary bladder is a very uncommon malignancy. It accounts for only 1-3% of all bladder cancers. Bladder tumors with only focal squamous differentiation are not diagnosed as SCC. Unfortunately, SCC of the urinary bladder is usually diagnosed at a late stage, and consequently, the prognosis is poor. The only proven predisposing factor implicated in the causation of SCC bladder is chronic irritation as by chronic urinary tract infections, bladder stones, schistosomiasis, etc. We present a case of SCC of the urinary bladder in a 70-year-old male patient who presented with hematuria, pain, and decreased frequency of micturition. A transurethral biopsy was performed at the site of the thickening of the bladder wall. The histopathological examination of the sampled tissue confirmed the diagnosis of a well-differentiated SCC.

Keywords: Bladder neoplasm, Malignant tumor bladder, Squamous cell carcinoma, Urinary bladder


Malignant tumors of the urinary bladder are commonly encountered in clinical practice.[1-4] It usually affects the elderly population and males are affected three to four times more than females. Most bladder cancers (90–95%) are urothelial carcinomas. Other epithelial and mesenchymal tumors are to blame for the remaining 5–10% of cases.[1, 5, 6] Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is extremely rare. Only 1-3% of all bladder malignancies are caused by it.[7] It is of interest to note that the incidence of bladder cancer differs significantly from country to country. This has been attributed to various social, environmental, occupational, and dietary carcinogenic factors. Common among these factors are chemicals, dyes, rubber, paint, textile, and leather work. Prolonged irritation of the bladder mucosa by calculi, infections, and schistosomiasis have also been implicated.[1, 6] In the majority of cases, a bladder tumor is a conventional urothelial or transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). However, sometimes foci of divergent differentiation with other histological types of malignancies like SCC, adenocarcinoma, micropapillary carcinoma, and neuroendocrine tumors may be observed. In such a situation, the tumor continues to be classified as urothelial carcinoma. A diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, SCC of the urinary bladder is reserved only for those tumors which exhibit essentially a pure histopathological tumor pattern.[1, 8]


Case report

A 70-year-old male patient came to the department of Urology with the complaint of painless hematuria of 15 days duration. He gave a history of recurrent urinary tract infections and off late was also having decreased frequency of urine. The patient was a chronic smoker and hypertensive for which he was on treatment. No other significant past, occupational or family history was given. The hematological parameters of the patient were within normal range. A urine examination showed the presence of red blood cells.


Non-contrast computed tomography (CT) scan of the pelvis showed eccentric thickening of the anterior wall of the bladder of size 5.1x2.6 cm, it was reported as suspicious for carcinoma (Figure 1).





There was also a history of a large vesicle calculus (or multiple coalescent calculi) in the past. Also noted was severe right-sided hydronephrosis with hydroureter due to a right ureteric calculus. A transurethral biopsy was performed at the site of the thickening of the bladder wall.



Figure 1. Non-contrast CT scan of the pelvis showing eccentric thickening of the anterior wall of the bladder.


The biopsy specimen was received as multiple tissue fragments gray, and white. Tissue sections showed a malignant tumor composed of moderately pleomorphic cells arranged in nests and cords. The tumor cells showed vesicular nuclei with prominent nucleoli and ample eosinophilic cytoplasm. Many keratin pearls were noted along with scattered mitoses. The same picture was observed in all the tissue bits sampled (Figures 2a-2d).