Asked by HONDO on Monday, March 11, 2013


    My husband has had the base of his tongue scraped, 3 lymph nodes removed from the neck and only one showed on the original PET scan in Dec. We have done all the surgeries his dr. wanted just wondering about radiation and we will not see his oncologist until the 22nd of March. Just wondering if this sounds familiar to anyone. Also would like to know if anyone can help with info regarding the cancer in his lymph nodes had matastisized (sp) from the base of the tongue would this mean it will keep spreading? Really worried

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Of course you are worried. Lymph nodes can and sometimes do hold cancer cells in a contained environment for a long time. The problem is Doctors don't know and we don't have reliable means to detect circulating cancer cells-for all cancers- in the blood stream yet..You just pray that the Lymph was doing its job and held all cells in its self.

      There are several clinical trials working on detecting cancer cells in the blood for many solid tumors as we speak.

      Chemo kills circulating cells. For some people the chemo gets them all for others it may not. Chemo has a harder time killing solid cancer tumors, but even then some solid tumors are killed with chemo, and their are a number of reasons for that..all of which are in clinical trials somewhere trying to break the beasts back. Trying to get Chemo drugs to get inside the tumor and kill it.

      For Lung cancer, many experts think its better to remove as many Lymph in the center of the chest as possible because these nodes can harbor undetected cancer cells that can come alive later and spread. so I see the removal of more than one as a good thing.

      Sometimes radiation is given to a tumor and sometimes it is given to a place that has had a surgical removal of a tumor because Docotors now know that the environment around a tumor may have a signal in its DNA to start some more cancer growing. So in certain instances radiation to the area can help reduce the cance of cancers return.

      over 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I had a similar cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, (tonsil) I also had lymph nodes involved in my neck, and the primary tonsil that was malignant. I had the lymph nodes removed by radical neck disection, and the tonsil taken out with margins removed around the tonsil. After radiation I was done. That was 4 years ago and I am still holding clean at each return visit. So I think the chances are very good for him too to be in the same condition.

      over 4 years ago
    • BLBragg's Avatar

      My husband had squamous cell carcinoma base of tongue that spead to his lymph node. No surgery. The IMRT radiation and chemotherapy seemed to have taken care of the lymph node. Last PET scan showed only necrotic tissue. He is almost 2 yrs post treatment and so far still cancer free. Keep positive thoughts!

      over 4 years ago
    • lady1's Avatar

      My husband had the same story. Base of tongue and 2 lymph nodes on the same side. The lymph nodes were removed (that is how they diagnosed it) and then further procedures determined the base of the tongue was primary site. He was diagnosed on 10/1 and did not start radiation and Erbitux until 5 or 6 weeks later. The waiting is a killer but the experts say the chemo augments the radiation so they need to be given together. And it takes a few weeks to get things in order for radiation. Meanwhile would recommend he go to a dentist to get any dental work out of the way. And get the book:" Destination Cancer Free: Navigating the Challenges of Head and Neck Cancer"- great book and I wish I would have found it sooner in our journey. It will explain what is ahead and what questions to ask.
      I am happy to report that my husband learned on Thursday his PET scan was clean-no signs of cancer. From what I understand, he will be monitored very closely over the next few years. Hope this helps and best wishes to you and your husband.

      over 4 years ago

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