For the Radiation Oncologist, knowledge and identification of the cranial nerve pathways in cancers of the head and neck is important for both characterizing extent of disease involvement and determining clinical treatment volumes. There are two processes by which tumors involve nerve pathways. Perineural invasion involves tumor cells directly invading a nerve in close proximity to the primary lesion. Perineural spread is a metastatic process whereby malignant cells travel along a nerve pathway in either retrograde or anterograde directions.
KeywordsCranial Nerve Cavernous Sinus Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Jugular Foramen Pterygopalatine Fossa
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