Distant metastases from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), though rare at initial presentation, remain an important manifestation of cancer recurrence and mortality. Although generally considered incurable with a dismal prognosis despite palliative therapy, highly selected patients with distant metastases may have a long term survival benefit from aggressive surgery or radiotherapy. Advances in systemic treatments also may improve patient survival. This article reviews the current state of management of HNSCC patients with distant metastases.
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