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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Cutaneous Metastasis of Renal Cell Carcinoma to the Cheek: A Case Report and Literature Review

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis

Eric Silver, Kseniya Roudakova, Nicholas Bial, David Daniel

USA Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e928999

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.928999

Available online: 2021-02-17

Published: 2021-03-26


BACKGROUND: Cutaneous metastasis of renal cell carcinoma is exceedingly rare, and there are few described cases of metastasis to the skin of the head and neck region. Most of these cases describe metastases to the scalp, but some cases of metastases to the face and neck have been reported.
CASE REPORT: A 72-year-old man presented to the Surgery Clinic with a chief complaint of a lesion that had grown on his left cheek over a period of about 3 months. A punch biopsy revealed the mass to be metastatic renal cell carcinoma, clear-cell subtype. The patient had already had a nephrectomy for primary tumor control. Due to the advanced disease process, the patient elected for palliative care.
CONCLUSIONS: Cutaneous presentations of renal cell carcinoma in the head and neck are exceptionally rare, and metastases to the face are less common than metastases to the scalp. When this disease process does occur, it often presents as a raised mass of between 1 and 3 cm with a red, red-purple, or red-blue color. Patient history often reveals a relatively rapid growth process of their facial lesion. This case highlights the fact that malignancies may manifest several years after initial primary resection.

Keywords: Carcinoma, Renal Cell, general surgery, Head and Neck Neoplasms, Neoplasm Metastasis, Surgery, Oral, Surgery, Plastic