Evaluation and Management of the Unknown Primary Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary origin in the head and neck is encountered as a recurring clinical problem in head and neck cancer clinics, affecting 3% to 25% of patients. This article describes the clinical presentation, appropriate evaluation, and treatment strategies for this important subgroup. Treatment—best carried out with multidisciplinary teams of specialists experienced in the care of head and neck cancer patients—is curative for most of these patients.

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Correspondence: Merrill S. Kies, MD, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Unit 432, P.O. Box 301402, Houston, TX 77230-1402. E-mail: mkies@mdanderson.org
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