Adenosquamous carcinoma is a rare tumour which is characterized pathologically by the simultaneous presence of distinct areas of squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The origin of adenosquamous carcinoma is controversial; however, it is generally considered to be aggressive and associated with a dismal prognosis. In the present study, the medical and pathological records of 4 patients with head and neck adenosquamous carcinoma are reviewed. In 1 patient, the tumour arose from an area of carcinoma in situ of surface epithelium. The origin from surface epithelium was not evident in any of the others. Perineural invasion was present in 3 patients. Three patients had evidence of cervical metastases. One patient died of postoperative complications, 1 suffered from local recurrence and developed distant metastases and 2 were alive with no evidence of disease over 30 months later. Adenosquamous carcinoma is an aggressive tumour; however, with appropriate treatment, some patients may remain well beyond 2 years.

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