Despite concerns of anatomic complexity, SLNB seems to be safe and effective for CMM in the head and neck. The prognostic information is valuable to the patient and provides a staging tool for the physician. Although the role of neck dissection is controversial, evidence suggests that a subset of patients benefit from ELND. Because the only proven cure for CMM is surgical resection, identification of subgroups that are amenable to lymphadenectomy may improve their survival. Data provided by SLNB raise questions about the studies on ELND that did not benefit from the information provided by a SLNB. SLNB has promise for providing important information in other cancers of the head and neck such as Merkel cell cancer or oral squamous cell cancer, but further research is needed.
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