Epidemiology

The most common malignant neoplasms within the jaws, apart from direct spread from mucosal carcinomas, are metastases and the most frequent primary sites are carcinomas of, in order of decreasing incidence, breast, kidney, lung, prostate and thyroid or colon {1098}. Maxillary and sinus metastases most frequently arise from renal carcinoma {202}. Metastasis accounts for approximately 4% of all upper aerodigestive tract carcinoma {246}. The great majority of patients are elderly, with mean age at diagnosis of 55 years and the sex incidence varies from equal {2877} to a female preponderance accounted for by the prevalence of breast carcinoma. Asymptomatic mandibular metastases have been found in 16% of carcinoma patients at autopsy {1025} but only approximately 1% of carcinomas develop clinical metastasis to the jaws during the course of the disease. Sarcomatous metastases are extremely rare, usually Ewing sarcoma or osteosarcoma and arise in the second or third decade. Childhood malignant neoplasms also occasionally metastasise to the jaws.

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