Unusual axillary metastasis of recurrent nasopharyngeal cancer: A case report

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Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has a high propensity of metastasis. The most commonly described sites of distant metastasis are the bones, lungs, and liver, whereas axillary metastasis is seldom reported.

Patient concerns:

We hereby present the case of a 66-year-old man with NPC, cT2N2M0, at diagnosis. He had completed chemoradiotherapy and been disease-free for 7 years.


After that period, late recurrence in the form of a solitary axillary lymph node metastasis was detected and confirmed by core-needle biopsy.


The lesion was chemoresistant but responded to salvage radiotherapy at a dose of 65 Gy in 21 fractions.


Post-radiotherapy positron emission tomography scan showed no evidence of disease.


We suggested that long-term follow-up of NPC patients is important because a late relapse may occur at an unusual site. Aggressive management of solitary metastasis may achieve good outcome.

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