Mental neuropathy (numb chin syndrome): A harbinger of tumor progression or relapse

R. K. Burt, William Sharfman, B. I. Karp, W. H. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The authors report four patients whose initial symptom of tumor recurrence or progression was unilateral numbness of the chin. Two patients had Hodgkin lymphoma, one had malignant melanoma, and one had prostate cancer. Physical examination was notable only for unilateral anesthesia of the chin and lower lip. Diagnostic evaluation, including computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, plain radiographs of the mandible, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis for protein, glucose, and cytology were normal. Bone scans revealed osseous lesions in the axial skeleton of all patients, whereas only two patients had abnormal uptake in the mandible. The authors conclude that in the setting of a negative evaluation for central nervous system (CNS) or local mandibular disease, mental neuropathy is associated with recurrent or progressive skeletal disease. In addition, to document relapsed or progressive cancer, the skeletal system may have to be examined at sites distant from the mandible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-881
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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