Nonmelanoma skin cancer of the head and neck I: histopathology and clinical behavior

Am J Otolaryngol. 2009 Mar-Apr;30(2):121-33. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2008.03.002. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


Non-Melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most commonly encountered malignancy in almost every area of practice, but the cases that present to an Otolaryngology practice will be advanced in nature. The major subtypes of NMSC include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, merkel cell carcinoma, and adnexal malignancies. In this review, we present the epidemiology, histology, clinical presentation and management of these major subtypes. Further, we present background on multimodality treatment for NMSC lesions that have become metastatic from their primary site and an introduction to the behavior and treatment of NMSC lesions in patients who have received organ transplants. Understanding the clinical behavior of advanced NMSC is essential knowledge for a general Otolaryngologist.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / etiology
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / therapy
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma / etiology
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma / pathology*
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma / therapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / etiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy