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Synchronous or metachronous lymphoma and metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in the head and neck region: a diagnostic and management dilemma

  • I Kader (a1), B Leavers (a1), S Shashinder (a1) (a2), B Wylie (a2) (a3), K-K Chi (a4) and P Sundaresan (a5)...



To review our experience of managing patients with a dual diagnosis of metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in the head and neck region and low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The secondary aim was to evaluate the utility of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography during diagnosis.


Patients diagnosed with metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, in a five-year period, were identified. Patient, tumour and treatment characteristics were identified. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography imaging was reviewed and correlated with histopathology findings.


Eight patients were identified. There was a delay in diagnosis of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in two patients. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography differentiated metastatic squamous cell carcinoma from low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma with a sensitivity of 88.2 per cent and a specificity of 94.7 per cent. In 38 per cent of patients, compromises in management had to be made.


The management of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma can be challenging in patients with low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography can be useful in the diagnosis of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in patients with low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Imran Kader, Department of Otolaryngology/ Head and Neck Surgery, Gosford Hospital, 10 Holden Street, Gosford, NSW 2250, Australia Fax: +61 2 4320 3860 E-mail:


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