Korean J Head Neck Oncol Search


Korean Journal of Head & Neck Oncology 1986;2(1):23-31.
Published online June 30, 1986.
Unknown Primary Cancer in Head and Neck -Clinical Analysis of 31 Cases-
Yoon Kyu Park;Chang Soo Kim;Bong Ok Yoo;Eul Sam Chung;David J Seel
頭頸部 領域의 原發病巢 不明癌 31例의 臨床的 考察
During the past 14years 267 patients presented with a lump in the neck proven to be metastatic cancer histologically. In most cases the primary site was discovered by thorough physical examination, E.U.A.(examination under anesthesia) and radiodiagnostic studies. However in 31 cases complete diagnostic evaluation failed to reveal the primary site. This paper discusses the characteristics of this group of patients in terms of the frequency of the ultimately discovered primary sites, policies for diagnosis, methods of management, and the ultimate prognosis for such cases in Korea. The male: female ratio was 6.8: 1 and 84% of all cases occurred in the 51∼70 age group. The majority of these cancers were epidermoid carcinomas(67.7%) and 22 of the 31(71%) were Stage IV lesinos(17 N3A lesions and 5 N3B lesions). Surgical management was employed in 7 cases only, and in 5 cases this was combined with rediotherapy, chemotherapy, or both. Nevertheless, the only patients who survived disease free for two years or more (one for over 5 years) were two patients in this management group. None of the patients treated by radiotherapy or chemotherapy of a combination of these two modalities survived. Occult primary sites were eventually discovered in 5 of the 31 cases, two in the nasopharynx, and one each in the base of tongue, pyrifrom sinus, middle ear. Of the 21 cases with epidermoid carcinoma which presented in the neck, 2 are free of disease for 3years or more. Of those who underwent radical surgery two of five survived. This study thus confirms the principle enunciated by MacComb in 1972 that surgical treatment in the form of radical neck dissection is the cornerstone of management whenever feasible.
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