Nonmelanoma Skin Tumors Involving the Craniofacial Region: Our 22 Years of Experience


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Abstract

Skin tumors comprise the largest group of malignancies of the head. Despite the accessibility of such lesions, the treatment of neglected, far advanced cancers, many of which have extended deeply into the facial bones and skull, is often required. The key to the cure of malignant tumors of the head is an accurate diagnosis and evaluation of the margins of an excised tumor. Reconstructive surgery of the head after resection of tumors requires a complete understanding of the anatomy of this region. From January 1986 to December of 2005, 31 patients underwent reconstructive surgery for nonmelanoma skin tumors involving the craniofacial region. Preoperative evaluation of the patients was performed in all cases. The results were estimated from the oncologic and functional point of view. The reconstruction, which was performed, included local, regional, and free flaps. In our series, the 5-year disease-free survival rate was 87%. The primary goal of surgical treatment of skin tumors with invasion of craniofacial bone structure is three-dimensional tumor resection with histologically clear margins. This goal has to be balanced, however, with an acceptable functional and aesthetic result. Resections are planned according to pathologic considerations rather than according to the anatomy involved.

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