Question about F & A results

Artray Member Posts: 24
edited March 2014 in Head and Neck Cancer #1
We just today had another series of needle biopsies performed at the VA. The pathologist who did the first ones 2 weeks ago said there was no indication of cancer in the 3 samples they took but the ENT didn't trust his info and sent us for another series.
Today, the pathologist (another hospital) did 5 biopsies and said that she was getting necrotic tissue. I thought that was a good thing since to me that means the cells are dead and or dying. She said that it wasn't a good thing and that that meant the cells could be replicating and reinventing more cancer? I don't understand?
They also did a CT scan which still shows a mass on the side of the neck, which he's had for 6 years and no one can tell us what it is...the doctors keep talking about the only option being a neck dissection and it feels like they just want to go right to cutting in...I'm really confused!

All this after 7 weeks of radiation and 3 sessions of chemo which he finished 2/22 so we're 4 months out. But thank god, he's finally eating by mouth and the mucositis has subsided ALOT so that's a real blessing. I'm wondering if they do the neck dissection will it set his throat back in healing (the mass is on the left side of the neck).

Any thoughts out there???


  • soccerfreaks
    soccerfreaks Member Posts: 2,788
    It sounds as though they are still confused themselves as to whether this is cancer or not. Even if it is benign, but growing, though, it could become a problem.

    Me, I am prone to take the advice of the doctors, as I have doctors that I trust completely. If they were ever in conflict, however, I would want to wait until they sorted things out. Fortunately, I suppose, they have been in concert throughout.

    I do know that there is much concern about unnecessary surgery these days, but my personal perspective, for what it is worth, and that is very little, frankly, is : if in doubt, take it out.

    When it comes to cancer, I am not fooling around.

    Just my thoughts.

    Best wishes to hub and to his family.

    Take care,

  • pmfennell
    pmfennell Member Posts: 28
    My Experience

    I went through 3 sets of Needle Biopsies and all 3 showed no cancer cells. I did not trust these neither did my ENT. Thank God! Together we decided to go to surgery and check the mass growing on the right side of of my neck. They found and removed 3 cancerous lymph nodes. You know the rest of the story. Rad and Chemo for 12 weeks. I opted not to have the neck dissection. It was a personal choice. Each person makes his or her own choice. I sought counsel from a Neurology team I had studied with while working on my Master's degree and consulted my Primary Care Doc. With all this info. in hand, I told my ENT No Radical Neck Dissection for me. I know I rolled the dice, but I am 6 years out of TX and doing fine. Cancer is in remission. Good luck to you and your husband. Remain positive. It is so important.