What is the role of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) in the workup of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC)?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Talib Najjar, DMD, MDS, PhD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Rarely, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) presents as a parotid or neck mass, because of lymphatic spread from an occult cutaneous lesion or remotely treated skin cancer (see the image below). The median time from initial treatment to presentation with a parotid or neck mass ranges from 10 to 13 months. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy can be of assistance in the evaluation of any mass suspected to represent occult metastasis.

Preauricular and helical scars (black arrows) from Preauricular and helical scars (black arrows) from prior excisions are noted in a patient who presented with cervical metastases (white arrow) from an occult cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

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