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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes fluid built up in jaws and neck when suffering from cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Indranil Ghosh


Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1465 Questions

Posted on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 in Lung Cancer
Question: Family member, female, over 65, has lung cancer, non smoker, one lung removed on the 5th of this month, they also removed cancer in the lining of the heart, and another spot, unknown where that was, there's a complication, fluid buildup in the jaw and neck, will be sedated today to correct the problem, my questions: what is this condition called, how serious is it, and what is her prognosis?
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 15 hours later
Brief Answer:
May be due to pressure effect by tumor

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your query. It appears that she has an advanced lung cancer. Cancer has probably spread to the lining of heart, which makes it advanced disease. it is usually not possible in this scenario to remove all tumor.

If tumor is left behind in the central part of the chest, there it can compress large vessels which in turn lead to fluid buildup in head and neck. Most likely this is what is happening. This is known as Superior Vena Cava obstruction (SVCO). It can also be related to the surgery. Swelling post surgery may cause venous obstruction. This usually subsides with medicines and with time.

Advanced lung cancer is quite serious and prognosis is not good. SVCO can be treated by giving radiation.

If you can send me the biopsy and CT scan reports then I may be able to guide you further.

Warm regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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