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September 1988

Burn Scar Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Va. Dr Mosborg is now with the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(9):1038-1040. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860210104027

• Carcinomas arising in burn scars are uncommon. Of the several hundred cases reported in the world's literature, 30% have been described in the head and neck region. Acute burn scar carcinoma, which occurs within one to two years of injury, is rare, while the chronic type, with an average latency of 35 years from injury to diagnosis, is much more common. Two cases of burn scar carcinoma are presented. Treatment is based on the histologic cell type (usually squamous cell or basal cell), in addition to the clinical stage. Adjuvant radiation therapy can often improve the results obtained with surgical excision alone. Proper initial treatment of burns, with early use of skin grafts, might curb the development of these potentially serious tumors.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1988;114:1038-1040)