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Aggressive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

  • B. E. J. Hartley (a1), A. E. Searle (a1), N. M. Breach (a1), P. H. Rhys-Evans (a1) and J. M. Henk (a1)...


We describe multiple cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck in five patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). When associated with CLL, cutaneous squamous cell carcinomata behave in a much more aggressive manner than otherwise expected. Four patients developed local recurrence after primary treatment. All five patients developed lymph node metastases containing squamous cell carcinoma. Three of five patients (60 per cent) had multiple primary lesions.

Whereas the increased incidence of second cancers in CLL and notably of skin cancers is documented, little has been written to describe the aggressive behaviour of these tumours. It is important, when treating these patients, to be aware of the high tendency towards local recurrence and lymph node metastasis and to consider an aggressive management plan and careful follow-up.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr B. E. J. Hartley, B.Sc. F.R.C.S., ENT Registrar, The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8DA.


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