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Throat cancer and infection - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Cancer
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
User :   may I answer your health queries right now ? Please type your query here... My husband has a fistula on the left side of his throat that has mostly closed. But his whole neck keeps swelling up with a clear, thick liquid that is trying to drain from the hole. What causes this? Will it go away once the fistula has healed? Where will the "goo" go when the fistula is no longer open? Can something be done to facilitate the drainage?
Doctor :   hello
Doctor :   i am Dr
Doctor :   may i know your husbands age please
User :   He is 41 and has been battling throat cancer for the past year
Doctor :   what all meditation he is on ?
Doctor :   has he undergone surgery ?
User :   They have suspended chemotherapy until his throat heals. He is only on painkillers right now, and iv antibiotics because he has also developed an infection at the site where they put a feeding tube in his abdomen. He is at the where no one speaks English and we can't get answers from the drs there
Doctor :   has he undergone surgery ?
User :   No surgery, just chemo and radiation
Doctor :   ok
User :   They extracted an infected wisdom tooth in September that was not adequately treated with antibiotics and the infection spread to his throat. That caused the fistula.
Doctor :   well what your husband is experiencing is something that is i am afraid a known complication , the oozing liquid means its still infected. and the only way thru this is to wait till the antibiotics takes it course and the infection is controlled
Doctor :   the only way here is to wait and let the antibiotics get rid if the infection
Doctor :   until then the chemo is suspended
Doctor :   yes once the fistula is healed it will go
User :   They took him off antibiotics after the first course. Why would that happen if there is still an infection?
Doctor :   the chemo is known to really lower the body immunity to very very low levels and making the patient prone to recurrent infections
Doctor :   let me tell you on the good side that , these course usually have a very high sucess rate
Doctor :   and once the infections is under controlled the chemo can be started again
Doctor :   almost ALL cancer patients experience it
Doctor :   Some new treatments are available, as are new ways of combining old treatments. A good example of the latter is the use in recent years of a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy or immunotherapy for advanced cancer.
Doctor :   Some new agents include antiangiogenic drugs, which attack the blood vessels that nourish the tumor, and drugs such as erythropoietin that provide oxygen to the tumor, making it more sensitive to radiation and increasing the chance of cure.
User :   I also have a question about the stomach tube infection. It is all red at the site and it looks like tissue from inside of him is peeking out. Is that normal? Can he still use the tube to eat even with an infection? Also, the nurse told him to only change the dressing every three days, is that right?
Doctor :   yes the dressing are changed once in 3 days as we have to give time tissue to heal and not irritate it often by changing more frequently
Doctor :   he is already on antibiotics and what its called is ab BLANKET therapy , where infections in other part of the body are also treated with the same dose of antibiotics
Doctor :   hope i was able to guide you
User :   Ok, thank you very much for the information
Doctor :   your most welcome
Doctor :   wishing him a speedy recovery
Doctor :   take care
Doctor :   bye
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