Malignancies originating in the oral cavity and pharynx comprise "about 4% of all human cancer and about 70% of all cancer in the upper respiratory and alimentary tracts."1 Benign and malignant lesions involving the lips, buccal mucosa, tonsil, palate, and tongue are frequently seen by the otolaryngologist. Leucoplakia and patches of irritated mucosa, possible precursors of cancer, are examined daily. Many of these premalignant changes if observed over a period of time show evidence of neoplastic degeneration. Occasionally it can be demonstrated that areas of precancerous change progress to form multiple, separate areas of cancer.
Too often, despite the type and intensity of treatment, oral malignancies recur in the same location or in adjacent areas, or metastasize after the primary lesion is controlled. In many instances the recurrence is localized, without evidence of lymph node metastasis. In these cases the question arises whether the second cancer is recurrence of
JOHN B. GREGG, DONALD H. BREIT, ARNOLD K. MYRABO. Multiple Carcinomas in the Oral Cavity and Pharynx. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1957;65(6):580–585. doi:10.1001/archotol.1957.03830240036008