Head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma requiring parotidectomy: Prognostic indicators and treatment selection

Academic Article


  • Objective. Evaluate characteristics and risk factors for patients with advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC). Study Design. Retrospective case series. Setting. Tertiary care center. Patients and Methods. Chart review of patients with cSCC undergoing a parotidectomy (2003-2012). Results. Of 218 patients identified, 49% presented with a new primary lesion (n = 107) and 51% with a recurrence (n = 111). Parotid lymph nodes were positive in 52% of patients; 81% had a concurrent neck dissection, and 28% had cervical lymph node metastases. In 18% of patients, both parotid and cervical nodes were positive, while 44% were both parotid and cervical node negative; 33% had positive parotid and negative cervical nodes, and only 5% had negative parotid and positive cervical nodes. The overall 2- and 5-year survival rates were 0.71 and 0.58. Overall 5-year survival was lower for patients presenting with recurrent (0.49) versus new primary disease (0.69; P = .04). In addition, decreased overall 5-year survival rates were associated with cervical lymph node involvement (0.47 vs. 0.62; P = .01). There was no difference in overall survival when stratified by parotid lymph node involvement (P = .85), margin status (P = .67), perineural invasion (P = .42), facial nerve sacrifice (P = .92), or type of parotid operation performed (P = .51). Conclusions. In this study, cervical, but not parotid, lymph node involvement was associated with poor outcomes in patients with advanced cSCC requiring a parotidectomy. In patients without evidence of cervical or parotid lymph node involvement, a neck dissection may be spared, given there is a 5% chance of occult disease. © American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2014.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sweeny L; Zimmerman T; Carroll WR; Schmalbach CE; Day KE; Rosenthal EL
  • Start Page

  • 610
  • End Page

  • 617
  • Volume

  • 150
  • Issue

  • 4