When it comes to tumors of the head and neck, there is currently no reliable method for finding all the metastases of the neck. Therefore, we follow the rule of performing an elective dissection in the patients where more than 20% of metastases are expected. Even then, there are some patients with local recurrences. The explanation most likely lies in the incorrect histopathological diagnosis and unrecognized metastases. The ability to recognize smaller metastases can be accomplished by the use of the concept of the sentinel lymph node. This chapter describes the assessment of the neck status in 40 patients. In 18 patients, we have found metastases in the sentinel lymph nodes. It is important to note that in eight patients, metastases were found only after the use of serial cuts and immunohistological staining.
Part of the book: Cancer Survivorship