Cancer of Unknown Primary Site

Cancer of Unknown Primary Site is a topic covered in the Harrison's Manual of Medicine.

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Cancer of unknown primary site (CUPS) is defined as follows: biopsy-proven malignancy; primary site unapparent after history, physical examination, chest x-ray, abdominal and pelvic CT, complete blood count, chemistry survey, mammography (women), β-human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels (men), α-fetoprotein (AFP) levels (men), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels (men); and histologic evaluation not consistent with a primary tumor at the biopsy site. CUPS incidence is declining, probably because of better pathology diagnostic criteria; it accounts for about 3% of all cancers today, down from 10–15% 15 years ago. Most pts are over age 60. The tumors are often aneuploid. Cell lines derived from such tumors frequently have abnormalities in chromosome 1.

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