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Laryngoscope. 1994 Oct;104(10):1194-8.

Malignant melanoma of cervical and parotid lymph nodes with an unknown primary site.

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Division of Head and Neck Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine 90024-1624.


Forty-six patients with malignant melanoma metastatic to cervical or parotid lymph nodes with an unknown primary site were treated at UCLA Medical Center from 1964 through 1991. Treatment consisted of parotidectomy and/or neck dissection with or without adjuvant therapy. The initial presentation was a cervical mass in 74% and a parotid mass in 26% of patients. Metastasis distal to the head and neck nodal basins developed in 22% of patients. Involvement of more than four cervical or parotid nodes resulted in a significant increase in distant metastasis (P < .01). Adjuvant therapy was found to have no significant effect on survival rates. However, age at the time of diagnosis influenced the survival rates. The significance of the improved survival of these patients as compared to those with a known primary melanoma is discussed.

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