Cancer of the external auditory canal

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Introduction: Cancer of the external auditory canal is a rare tumour with an annual incidence of one per one million inhabitants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the 5-year overall survival and disease-free survival rates in a series of patients with carcinoma of the external auditory canal and to compare our results concerning the clinical presentation, management and survival with those of the literature. Patients and method: Ten patients were included in this retrospective, single-centre study over a 20-year period. Data concerning age, symptoms, imaging, TNM stage according to the Pittsburgh classification, histology, management, sequelae, recurrences and survival were recorded. Results: The mean age of the patients of this series was 60.7 years. Seven patients had a squamous cell carcinoma. The other histological types were undifferentiated carcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma. Staging was based on the Pittsburgh classification with one stage I, one stage III and eight stage IV tumours. Five-year overall survival rates were 100%, 50% and 0%, respectively. The mean 5-year overall survival rate was 35% and the mean 5-year disease-free survival rate was 24%. Conclusion: Carcinoma of the external auditory canal is a difficult diagnosis when the tumour does not present as a fungating mass protruding from the external auditory canal. The Pittsburgh classification was used for TNM staging of these tumours, allowing comparison of our results with those of the literature. The clinical findings and survival rates observed in this study are comparable to those reported in the literature. These tumours are associated with a poor prognosis on the basis of our results and published data. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.




Ouaz, K., Robier, A., Lescanne, E., Bobillier, C., Morinière, S., & Bakhos, D. (2013). Cancer of the external auditory canal. European Annals of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases, 130(4), 175–182.

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