A young pregnant woman had an unusual tumor in her neck. She was 19 years old and was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. The lump was large and painful and affected her ability to speak and breathe. The tumor in her neck had grown over the last 3 months and had become unbearable over the past week.
After a physical examination, it was discovered that she had a primary laryngeal tumor, a tumor on her larynx. The tumor in her neck was diagnosed as a Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma (SCNC).
The case proved to be a stiff challenge to doctors because SCNS is quite rare. It often strikes men 50-70 years old and is regular smokers. This pregnant woman was both young and a non-smoker.
There was numerous possible diagnosis of symptoms that need to be eliminated before the case can be determined and suitable treatment administered. Moreover, because of the rarity of the disease, there is a scarcity of evidence on which to base its treatment.
The lump on the woman’s neck was fixated on the left side of her vocal cord. This made it difficult and painful for her to speak. Her voice box was more than halfway closed because of the tumor. A tracheotomy was performed to ease her breathing. A biopsy of the laryngeal tumor was also done to determine the nature of the neck tumor.
The physicians were compelled to induce childbirth to prevent further complications. It was successful.
The biopsy revealed that the tumor in her neck was made up of a high density of cell proliferation which took on a uniform and invasive growth, necrosis, and a high mitotic rate. She was diagnosed with Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, SCNC (or SNEC).
She was treated using radio-chemotherapy to which she responded positively (5 months) but subsequently relapsed. She was then treated with cisplatin-based treatment (8 cycles). She survived for 35 months.
SCNC is the most lethal tumor affecting the larynx. It is a rare form of malignancy. Evidence of treatment is scarce. And survival is drastically low: from 1-26 months, with a median period of fewer than 9 months.