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Metastatic Lymph Nodes

Determining the Type of Metastatic Lymph Nodes

Only after a pathologist analyzes some cells or actual pieces of tissue from the lesion will your doctor be able to tell you if you have cancer. Cancer can spread to the lymph nodes of your neck from primary tumors in the head and neck or from other sites in your body.

  • Metastatic lymph nodes: Spread to neck lymph nodes from the head and neck region
    • Cancer from the mouth, throat, nose, face or scalp
    • Cancers from the skin, thyroid or salivary glands
    • Cancers from an unknown primary source
  • Distant metastatic cancer: Cancers spread to neck lymph nodes from a region below the collarbones such as the lungs, stomach, kidney, testicles or just about anywhere else.
References

1 Patterns of cervical lymph node metastasis from squamous carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract. Patterns of cervical lymph node metastasis from squamous carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract. The American Journal of Surgery. 1990;160(4):405-409.

2 Patterns of Cervical Node Metastases From Squamous Carcinoma of the Larynx. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(4):432-435.

3 Zhang MQ, El-Mofty SK, Dávila RM. Detection of human papillomavirus-related squamous cell carcinoma cytologically and by in situ hybridization in fine-needle aspiration biopsies of cervical metastasis: a tool for identifying the site of an occult head and neck primary. Cancer. 2008;114(2):118-23.

4 Morton DL, Wen DR, Foshag LJ, Essner R, Cochran A. Intraoperative lymphatic mapping and selective cervical lymphadenectomy for early-stage melanomas of the head and neck. J Clin Oncol. 1993;11:1751-1756.

5 Civantos FJ, Zitsch RP, Schuller DE, Agrawal A, Smith RB, Nason R, Petruzelli G, Gourin CG, Wong RJ, Ferris RL, El Naggar A, Ridge JA, Paniello RC, Owzar K, McCall L, Chepeha DB, Yarbrough WG, Myers JN. Sentinel lymph node biopsy accurately stages the regional lymph nodes for T1-T2 oral squamous cell carcinomas: results of a prospective multi-institutional trial. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(8):1395-400.

6 Balaker AE, Abemayor E, Elashoff D, St. John MA. Cancer of unknown primary: does treatment modality make a difference? Laryngoscope.2012;122(6):1279-82. doi: 10.1002/lary.22424. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

7 Cooper, J. S., et al. (2004). "Postoperative Concurrent Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy for High-Risk Squamous-Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck." New England Journal of Medicine 350(19): 1937-1944.

8 Bernier, J., et al. (2004). "Postoperative irradiation with or without concomitant chemotherapy for locally advanced head and neck cancer." N Engl J Med 350(19): 1945-1952.

9 Doescher, J., et al. (2017). "[The 8th edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual: Updates in otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery]." HNO 65(12): 956-961.

10 Cohen, E. E., LaMonte, S. J., Erb, N. L., Beckman, K. L., Sadeghi, N. , Hutcheson, K. A., Stubblefield, M. D., Abbott, D. M., Fisher, P. S., Stein, K. D., Lyman, G. H. and Pratt‐Chapman, M. L. (2016), American Cancer Society Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Care Guideline. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 66: 203-239. doi:10.3322/caac.21343 

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