Purpose: Metastases of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and the mouth floor have been well studied. Concerning maxilla squamous cell carcinomas, however, only a few studies have been performed. The question is whether a prophylactic neck dissection should be performed in these tumors.
Patients and Material: In the Department of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery at the University Hospital of Zurich, 30 patients who had been treated for squamous cell carcinonoma of the maxilla were examined retrospectively. Special attention was paid to direct and late metastasis, survival rate, and treatment.
RESULTS: Of the 59 patients with upper jaw carcinomas over a 9-year period, only about half (30 patients) had a squamous cell carcinoma of the upper jaw. Of those patients, 27% had an upper lesion on the right side, 33% on the left. Of the 11 patients (36.7%) presenting positive lymph nodes, 4 patients had direct positive lymph nodes while 7 patients had later positive lymph nodes; and 71.4% of the late metastasis appeared during the first year.
CONCLUSION: Because of the 36.7% of patients presenting metastasis in the cervical lymph nodes, elective neck treatment should be considered in cases even with a negative clinical examination.