Skin metastases from a head and neck carcinoma: a prognostic factor?

B-ENT. 2005;1(3):113-5.


Background: Distant metastases in head and neck cancer are often to the lung, and rarely to the skin sites.

Method: To ascertain that a skin metastasis indicates a poor prognosis, a review was conducted of patients with head and neck cancer.

Results: Three out of seven patients had evidence of local recurrence at the time of development of the skin metastases, and three out of seven had evidence of distant metastases. The average survival time was 1 month after the development of skin metastases.

Conclusion: Skin metastases may represent the first clinical evidence of impending recurrence or distant metastasis. The development of skin metastasis is associated with a poor prognosis. Current treatment options are limited in their efficacity.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Skin Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy
  • Survival Rate