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January 1973

Squamous Carcinoma of the Ear

Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(1):41-42. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010045011

This paper reports our total experience with 143 cases of primary carcinoma of the ear. Keratosis, frostbite, and the actinic rays of the sun precipitate pinna involvement. Chronic otitis externa and otorrhea are often associated with cancer of the auditory canal. About one fourth of the malignant tumors of the middle ear and mastoid are superimposed on cholesteatoma formation.

By far the commonest site of origin is the auditory canal. Early epidermoid carcinoma arises in the membranous auditory canal and can be managed successfully by a mastoidectomy and sleeve resection of the auditory canal with skin graft replacement. The majority of squamous carcinomas are advanced by the time the diagnosis is made. About one third of the operated cases are radiation failures. The remainder are treated with preoperative radiation in the range of 3,500 to 5,000 rads. Radical surgery which includes temporal bone, base of zygoma, and temporomandibular joint is then carried out. The five-year salvage of patients with advanced squamous carcinoma is 25%.

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