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Head and neck skin involvement by non-cutaneous head and neck cancers: Free flap reconstruction

Lookup NU author(s): Neil McLean, Dr Charles Kelly


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Introduction: Patients with skin involvement from head and neck cancer have a poor prognosis, with a median survival time of 2 months. Method and results: During a 9 year period, 31 patients with skin involvement above the clavicle by non-cutaneous malignant tumours of the head and neck were treated. In 19 males and 12 females with a mean age of 62 years, the parotid gland (32%) and the oral cavity (29%) were the commonest sites of primary disease and 77% of the cases were squamous cell carcinomas. Twenty-six had recurrent disease, 20 had received previous radiotherapy and all underwent surgical resection with free flap reconstruction, the commonest being the radial forearm (78%). Complete histological clearance was achieved in 53% of the cases, and adjuvant post-operative irradiation was given to 60%. With this form of management, palliation was extended to a mean survival of 23 months. Six patients are currently alive and disease free at a mean follow up of 4.5 years. Conclusions: Patients with head and neck skin involvement by non-cutaneous head and neck malignancies have a very poor prognosis, but surgical resection combined with free microvascular flap reconstruction and planned post-operative radiotherapy, can offer good long-term palliation. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McLean NR; Kelly CG; Stavrianos SD; Ragbir M; Soames JV

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Surgical Oncology

Year: 2000

Volume: 26

Issue: 6

Pages: 594-598

ISSN (print): 0748-7983

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2157

Publisher: W.B. Saunders Co. Ltd.


DOI: 10.1053/ejso.2000.0953

PubMed id: 11034812


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