Objective: The recommended treatment for cutaneous squamous cell cancer (CuSCC) of the head and neck is Mohs surgical excision or wide local excision. Excision is recommended to a gross surgical margin of 4-6 mm however this is based on limited evidence and specify a goal histologic margin. The objective of this study was therefore to examine the reported histological margin distance following WLE of advanced CuSCC and its association with recurrence and survival. Study design: Retrospective database review. Setting: All patients included received treatment at UC Davis Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and/or Radiation Oncology in Sacramento, California. Subjects and methods: The patients included were treated for advanced CuSCC with primary surgery with or without adjuvant therapy. Kaplan Meier survival curves with log rank analysis were then performed to compare 5-year recurrence free survival, and disease-specific survival for patients with different margin distances. Results: Total number of subjects was 92. The overall 5-year DSS and RFS was 68.8 and 51.0% respectively. When the pathological margin distance was ≥5 mm, 5-year disease specific survival was improved when compared to margin distance less than 5 mm (94.7 vs 60.7 p = 0.034). Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that a histologic margin of at least 5 mm may increase survival in advanced head and neck CuSCC patients.
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