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September 1985

Multiple Primary Epidermoid Carcinomas of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota Hospitals (Dr Shons), and the Department of Surgery, Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr McQuarrie), Minneapolis. Dr Shons is now with University Hospitals, Cleveland.

Arch Surg. 1985;120(9):1007-1009. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390330019003

• In a series of 405 patients with epidermoid carcinoma of the head and neck, 52 patients (13%) developed multiple epidermoid carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract. Subsequent primary tumors developed with nearly equal frequency in the head and neck, lung, and esophagus. Forty of the patients developed a subsequent primary carcinoma within five years of the first. Thirty-eight (73%) of the patients who developed a subsequent primary carcinoma survived less than two years from its diagnosis. The majority (34/50) of the patients died from the subsequent primary carcinoma. We recommend that panendoscopy and an esophagogram be performed on initial evaluation of patients with head and neck cancer. A thorough reexamination is warranted if new symptoms or signs develop.

(Arch Surg 1985;120:1007-1009)