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Chemotherapy for tumor in jaw, diminished. PET scan report detected new tumor. Surgery or radiotherapy?

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Practicing since : 2002
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My father has recently gone through chemotherapy,the tumor which originated at the jaw has completely diminished but another growth has occurred right next to the previous tumor.I have uploaded the recent PET scan report.Please suggest further course of action,should he opt for surgery or radiotherapy?
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Skin Cancer
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 5 hours later
Hello and thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some good information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

It seems to me that right now your father should see a skilled neck surgeon who specializes in cancers of the head and neck. He may need a complicated operation which we refer to as a neck dissection.

The idea of a neck dissection will hopefully help the surgeon and your father work on a plan where the large majority of the cancerous tissue can be removed. This includes the lymph nodes which are in the neck which seem to be larger on the most recent radiology study what you uploaded.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of seeking the expertise of a skilled surgeon who does this type of operation many times per year. After the surgical procedure is performed your father may then discuss continued management with a radiation oncologist.

A radiation oncologist will be able to analyze your father's history and check another follow-up scan to further evaluate where the benefit of radiation will be delivered. The idea behind radiation is to a again decrease the likelihood of additional local recurrence. These types of tumors are very difficult to control sometimes. If your father is otherwise healthy I think taking an aggressive line of action including surgery and then radiation is reasonable.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you've found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
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