This article will help you read and understand your pathology report for squamous papilloma of the esophagus.
by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC, reviewed by our Patient Partners on November 13, 2020
The esophagus is a long hollow tube that starts at the back of your throat and ends at the top of your stomach. Swallowed food travels down the esophagus into the stomach.
The esophagus is made up of six layers of tissue:
A squamous papilloma is a common type of non-cancerous growth. It starts from the epithelium lining the inside of the esophagus and is made up of squamous cells that connect together to form long finger like projections of tissue. Pathologists call these finger like projections papilla.
Common causes of squamous papillomas in the upper or middle esophagus include excessive alcohol consumption and mechanical irritation of the esophagus by impacted food or medical devices (for example stents). Squamous papillomas in the lower esophagus are often caused by acid reflux disease (GERD). A small number of squamous papillomas in the esophagus are caused by infection with human papilloma virus (HPV). There are many types of human papilloma virus and the types that cause squamous papilloma are called low risk because they are not associated with an increased risk of developing cancer.
The diagnosis is made after the growth is removed and sent to a pathologist for examination under a microscope. Sometimes only a small sample of the papilloma will be removed in a procedure called a biopsy. In these situations, your doctor may suggest a second procedure to remove the remainder of the growth.