Malignancy of unknown primary site

Peter Hoskin and Wendy Makin

in Oncology for Palliative Medicine

Second edition

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780192628114
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730115 | DOI:
Malignancy of unknown primary site

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This chapter discusses malignancies, the origin of which is relatively unknown. Metastatic cancer of which the primary site is unknown accounts for up to 10 per cent of new diagnoses of malignancy. Metastatic cancer of unknown primary site is a devastating and bewildering diagnosis for the patient and the family, and poses a great dilemma to the clinician. The inability to pinpoint the primary site of malignancy is an interplay of several factors, which may include previously missed diagnosis and missed small primary tumour. Topics discussed include confirmation of the malignancy, definition of the type of tumour, and prognosis of the disease. Also included are the different malignancies and their possible site of origin. These are metastatic of the neck lymph nodes, metastatic of other lymph nodes, and metastatic of other tissues.

Keywords: unknown primary site; malignancy; type of tumour; lymph nodes; metastatic cancer

Chapter.  3163 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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