Oncologic rationale for bilateral tonsillectomy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary source

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate an oncologic basis for the recommendation to perform bilateral tonsillectomy as a routine measure in the search for a primary mucosal lesion in patients presenting with cervical nodal metastasis of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). STUDY DESIGN: A case series of individuals selected from a 3-year period is reported. SETTING: Academic medical center. RESULTS: Each individual presented with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in a cervical lymph node from an unknown primary source. In each case, the primary source was identified in a tonsillectomy specimen, either located contralateral to the node, or in both tonsils. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of contralateral spread of metastatic cancer from occult tonsil lesions appears to approach 10%. For this reason, bilateral tonsillectomy is recommended as a routine step in the search for the occult primary in patients presenting with cervical metastasis of SCC and palatine tonsils intact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-333
Number of pages3
JournalOtolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Volume124
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Oncologic rationale for bilateral tonsillectomy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary source'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this