Surgery Cancelled

jmain Member Posts: 3



2 wks ago, I was diagnosed with hypopharynx cancer, stage 2. I was scheduled for a partial pharyngectomy today. Yesterday, the surgeons nurse called and left a message on my phone saying that they cancelled my surgery because my tumor (lesion) is too close to my carotid artery. I am shocked and upset because they want me to have chemo and radiation now. (I was going to have radiation only before). I want to find a doctor who can do the surgery, but need help locating one.  I went to Loyola in Chicago originally. I am scheduled for a chemo class and to have a mask made on Monday. I would like to see a surgeon before starting chemo and radiation.  Thank you for any help you can give me.




  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member


    Welcome to the H&N forum, sorry you find yourself here.

    Often surgery is taken off the table if conditions are less than optimal.  Many here have  had great luck with treatment, minus the surgery.

    Don’t be too disappointed, it may be the best path for you.

    Good luck in your decisions.


  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    linda, i think you may want

    linda, i think you may want to get a second opinion.  if the doc says the same thing, at least you know both docs felt that way.  wishing you the best with tx.  we will be here for you as you travel this road. 

    God bless you,


  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    I'm sorry you find yourself

    here, but you did find the best forum on the internet.... Laughing 

    I don't know how far you had to travel to get to Chicago, but I'm thinking that Mayo is within a reasonable distance to get a second opinion, you will need to gather up your "stuff"....a CD of your scan, the Dr. records etc, and send them to Mayo.  I went to the Cancer Center in the hospital where I was first diagnosed, and they did all that for me (all the gathering).

    As for history....I only had chemo and surgery.  I had Nasophrayngeal cancer.....and surgery was out of the question as it's too close to the brain.  I'll be two years out of treatment next month, and am doing very well.  Chemo and rads hit my cancer without the help of surgery.

    The bottom line want to get rid of the cancer and live to tell the tale.....


    PS....isn't there another huge hospital in Chicago?  Seems there have been a few on here who have been treated there, but not a Loyola.

  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    treatment options

    My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 hypopharyngeal cancer 4 years ago with treatment complete August 2010.  All went well and the cancer was eradicated with no surgery and Jim was released by his oncologist this month.  The change in plans has upset you and I can understand that you want the cancer removed.  Certainly get a second opinion if you wish but please know surgery is not always possible (Jim's tumor was too big) and there can be successful treatment without it.

  • duck1255
    duck1255 Member Posts: 40
    ENT surgeon

    I had a mandiblectomy just over 2 weeks ago at Cleveland Clinic. We are very happy with my surgeons and the entire way they handled my case. My jaw was wired shut by an oral surgeon due to a fractured mandible and he just left it that way for 8 weeks never did a biopsy even though he knew I was diagnosed with BC. The ENTs at Cleveland Clinic got it sorted out and 3 weeks later I had surgery to fix my jaw. Still a long journey but at least something is finally happening. If Cleveland isn't too far I would definitely recommend it

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Welcome to the H&N

    Linda welcone to the group no one wants to need, but glad you found us. If you want a second opnion that is a good thing, but they most likely won't do the surgery either. If it is that close to the carotid artery and it got nicked that would be, well real bad and hard to stop the bleading. It is very commin to do radation and chemo and from what I have seen and read it better to add chemo to the radation. If you do seek a second opnion go to a major center that is ranked. I like to go to the ENT with cancer as second, others just go to the best cancer center. Here is a starting point you cad search cancer as well; :     < Do copy and past

    It seems that adding chemo to the radiation betters than doubles the results and success rate. I have to agree with what Matt said. Best of luck on your dission.