Basal cell carcinoma metastatic to the parotid: report of a new case and review of the literature

James P. Malone, Pennsylvania State University
Fred G. Fedok, Pennsylvania State University
Deborah A. Belchis, Pennsylvania State University
Mary E. Maloney, University of Massachusetts Medical School

At the time of publication, Mary E. Maloney was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of the cutaneous malignancies, accounting for 65 to 75% of all skin cancers. The natural history of this disease is one of chronic local invasion. Metastatic basal cell carcinoma is a rare clinical entity, with a reported incidence of only 0.0028 to 0.5%. Approximately 85% of all metastatic basal cell carcinomas arise in the head and neck region. We present a case of basal cell carcinoma that spread to the parotid gland in a man who had multiple lesions on his scalp and face. We also review the literature on metastatic basal cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and we discuss its epidemiology, etiology, histopathology, and treatment.