Lymphomas of extranodal head and neck sites

  • Charlotte Jacobs
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 32)


Although the otolaryngologist treats mainly cancers of squamous histology, non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas represent a substantial number of newly diagnosed head and neck cancers [1, 2]. Cervical adenopathy is one of the most common presenting signs of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, but up to 10% of patients present with lymphomas in extranodal head and neck sites — Waldeyer’s ring or other extralymphatic sites, including oral cavity, larynx, salivary gland, paranasal sinus, thyroid, and orbit. The signs and symptoms of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in an extranodal head and neck site may be similar to those of a head and neck squamous cancer, and only by biopsy can the distinction be made. However, occasionally a pathologist will have difficulty distinguishing between a poorly differentiated carcinoma and a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Newer immunohistologic techniques have been helpful in making this distinction. The histologic classification of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas has undergone recent change, and familiarity with the currently used classification systems is important in understanding the natural history and expected outcome of patients with lymphomas. Based on retrospective analysis of series of patients with extranodal and neck lymphomas at various institutions, appropriate staging procedures can be recommended. Finally, the therapy of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas is rapidly changing, and survival data continue to improve. The recommended optimal therapy varies with histology, stage of disease, and head and neck site. This review will cover the presentation, histology, staging and treatment of extranodal head and neck lymphomas.


Paranasal Sinus Lymphoblastic Lymphoma Thyroid Lymphoma Total Lymphoid Irradiation Favorable Histology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston 1987

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  • Charlotte Jacobs

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