• In a series of 405 patients with epidermoid carcinoma of the head and neck, 52 patients (13%) developed multiple epidermoid carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract. Subsequent primary tumors developed with nearly equal frequency in the head and neck, lung, and esophagus. Forty of the patients developed a subsequent primary carcinoma within five years of the first. Thirty-eight (73%) of the patients who developed a subsequent primary carcinoma survived less than two years from its diagnosis. The majority (34/50) of the patients died from the subsequent primary carcinoma. We recommend that panendoscopy and an esophagogram be performed on initial evaluation of patients with head and neck cancer. A thorough reexamination is warranted if new symptoms or signs develop.
(Arch Surg 1985;120:1007-1009)