Supraclavicular Metastases from Distant Primary Solid Tumours: A Retrospective Study of 41 Years
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Approximately 1 % of all malignant solid tumours of the head and neck area are metastases from primary tumours beneath the clavicles. The aim of this study was to analyse the distribution of primary tumours since meta-analyses might have been biased due to the usually extraordinary character of case reports.
Materials and Methods
All patient files from 1970 to 2012 from the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery unit at a University Hospital were analysed regarding the existence of metastases to the head and neck area from distant primaries.
Of the seventy-three patients 18 had breast cancers (25 %), 9 melanomas (12 %), 8 tumours of the kidneys and 8 of the lungs (each 12 %), 3 colon cancers (6 %), 2 prostate cancers (3 %), 2 Ewing sarcomas (3 %), and 1 each of liposarcoma, esophagus, rectum, hepatocellular carcinoma, vulva, ovarian and testicular cancer. In 15 cases, a cancer of unknown primary was diagnosed. In 28 cases the metastasis was the initial sign of the malignant disease. Skeletal metastasis occurred in 37 cases and a soft tissue metastasis in 36 patients.
The different primaries seem to metastasize in different frequencies to the head and neck area. The relatively common prostate cancer rarely seems to produce metastases in the head and neck area compared to cancers arising in the kidneys. In case of a malignant tumour of unknown primary, osseous metastases most often are caused by breast or lung cancer or renal cell carcinoma. Soft tissue metastases are most often caused by breast cancer.
KeywordsMetastasis Head and neck Tumour Cancer
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they do not have any conflict of interest.
A retrospective study was performed without any further consequences for the patient. According to this and the hospital laws of the individual states (Krankenhauslandesgesetz) no approval by the local ethics committee is necessary. The study was not sponsored.
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