Head and neck nonmelanoma cutaneous carcinomas (NMCC) may have poor outcomes, such as
metastasis and recurrence. It remains unclear which patients are at increased risk for poor outcomes. We characterize a
population of NMCC seen in a head and neck surgical practice. We sought to identify predictors of poor outcome in head
and neck NMCC.
A retrospective cohort study of 161 patients with head and neck NMCC who presented to a university
based otolaryngology-head and neck surgery practice over a 13 year period was performed. The study group included 127
men and 34 women, age range: 33 - 92 years.
Subjects and Methods: Tumor characteristics of the study population were recorded, and statistical analysis and Kaplan-
Meier survival calculations were performed to determine predictors of poor outcomes.
113 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and 48 basal cell carcinomas (BCC) were identified. Among SCC patients,
there was a 44% incidence of metastasis and a 47% incidence of recurrence. Among BCC patients, there was a 10%
incidence of metastasis and a 50% incidence of recurrence. Twenty percent of SCC patients had a history of
immunosuppression. Among SCC patients with immunosuppression, 83% had metastasis or recurrence. Survival for SCC
patients with metastatic disease was significantly worse than patients without metastases. The presence of parotid
metastases in SCC conferred a survival advantage when compared to other sites of metastases.
The incidence of poor outcomes in NMCC was higher in our series than reported in the literature. Survival
patterns of our study parallel those of similar studies in the literature.
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