Carcinoma of the External Auditory Canal

Carcinoma of the External Auditory Canal

Description : Definition
A malignant neoplasm arising from the stratified squamous epithelial layer of the external auditory canal.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the external ear canal is associated with chronic otorrhoea in 75% of cases, suggesting that chronic infection or irritation may be a significant aetiological factor. It should be noted, however, that this is an extremely rare complication of chronic ear disease.

The most suspicious symptoms are bleeding from the external canal and chronic otorrhoea which has recently become associated with pain.

Otoscopic appearances
An early carcinoma may form an ulcer in the skin of the external canal or may appear as a small area of granulation tissue. A large polypoid tumor can totally occlude the external canal.

It should, however, be emphasized that there are no absolute otoscopic signs which are truly diagnostic of malignant tumours of the external auditory canal.

A large knobbly growth is almost obliterating the external auditory canal.

On biopsy this was shown to be a moderately well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma.

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