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July 1987

Metastatic Disease of the Mandible

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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(7):703. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860070017004

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Michael Schwartz, MD, Fort Lee, NJ, and colleagues discussed 22 cases of patients presenting with malignant tumors that metastasized to the mandible. Their work, presented at the Eastern Section meeting of the Triological Society, Boston, showed that breast, lung, and colon cancers were the most common primary tumors. In three patients, the mandibular lesion was the initial presentation of the malignancy, and it was the first site of metastasis in a total of ten patients. Complete workup usually reveals widespread distant metastases. Roentgenograms were normal in three patients, though technetium scans were abnormal in two of these patients. The authors suggest that one consider metastatic disease in any patient with unexplained mandibular pain, hypoesthesia of the mental nerve, or loose teeth unexplained by periodontal disease. Because of widespread disease, treatment was often palliative.—W. Jarrard Goodwin, Jr, MD, New Haven, Conn

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