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External ear sarcoma: A review of the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Result (SEER 17) database

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August 16, 2011
by Stephanie A. Austin, MD, Mary J. Hawkshaw, BSN, RN, CORLN, and Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS


Soft-tissue sarcomas arising in the skin of the external ear have a better prognosis than might be expected based on the behavior of other sarcomas. Currently there are a few major case series analyzing soft-tissue sarcomas and the factors related to their prognosis. The purpose of this study was to determine the behavior of these tumors and attempt to define factors affecting prognosis. We extracted data from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Result (SEER) 17 Registry and identified a total of 297 patients with sarcoma of the external ear who were included in the registry from 1973 to 2004. Of these, 176 (59.3%) patients were diagnosed with malignant fibrous histiocytoma. Dermatofibrosarcoma was the second most prevalent soft-tissue sarcoma (56 patients; 18.9%), followed by leiomyosarcoma (27 patients; 9.1%). The overall 5-year survival rate of patients with all histologic types of STS of the external ear was 78.5%.

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