Oral squamous cell carcinoma and a clinically negative neck: the value of follow-up
until further notice
SourceHead and Neck : Journal for the Sciences and Specialties of the Head and Neck, 33, 10, (2011), pp. 1400-5
Article / Letter to editor
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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
Head and Neck : Journal for the Sciences and Specialties of the Head and Neck
SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions ONCOL 3: Translational research; ONCOL 3: Translational research; ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection
BACKGROUND: In squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity (SCCOC), regular follow-up comprises 5 years of prescheduled visits, irrespective of tumor stage/classification and/or treatment. We analyzed our standard treatment and follow-up protocol in patients with a preoperative clinically negative neck (cN0) in SCCOC. METHODS: This is a retrospective chart analysis. Inventarization of treatment, occult metastatic spread, and follow-up were performed. RESULTS: In all, 197 patients were included. The occult metastatic rate was 24%. Eighty-three percent of recurrent disease presented within 2 years. Fifty-three percent of the patients with recurrent disease visited their physician outside prescheduled control visits. CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology currently is 1 of the most reliable staging techniques in cN0 SCCOC. Regular follow-up could perhaps be limited from 5 to 2 years of prescheduled follow-up visits.
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