Mar 19, 2013 - 9:28 pm
Thanks, everyone for being so helpful in response to my previous posts.
I got my official diagnosis today:
Tx, N2c, M0 squamous cell carcinoma metastatic to cervical lymph nodes on both sides, with unknown primary
As I have posted before, the Mayo Clinic surgeon is recommending robotic surgery to remove the cancerous lymph nodes on both sides and sequentially removing parts of the tongue, tonsils, etc. looking for the primary site and removing the tissue if it is found. They may end up removing all the potential sites without finding the primary. He is recommending following the surgery with radiation only, with the type of radiation depending on whether the primary site is found.
Now that I have reviewed losts of posts on the potential short-term and long-term consequences of the surgery and the follow up radiation, I have to ask the question: "What if I did nothing?" What if I waited and had a follow up PET scan periodically to see if the primary ever shows up or if the lymph nodes grow larger?" If nothing shows up later and my lymph nodes remain unchanged, I could keep living my life without treatment unless and until........
I have no symptoms. They found swollen glands by accident leading to the biopsy and discovery of SCC. The PET and ENT exams found no evidence of a primary site.
Does anyone know....does metastatic SCC cancer always or mostly get worse and spread? What % of the time does it not progress? Does it ever go away over time? One doctor told me that there may not be a primary site anymore because my immune system may have eliminated it, but the cancer cells remain in my lymph nodes.
This may be a silly newbie question, but I had to ask.