Cancer is very smart


I had a selective neck dissection and as well as The following parts of mouth all on Right side:   BOT, Tonsil, glossopharyngealand the right posterolateral pharyngeal wall, plus unexpectedly (when I was openeded up), a largish amout of cancerous cells outside the area with 0.5 cm of SO's saftey margin around the main tumor seen in MRI imaging. There was a pathologist working real time on what the SO passes to him. The largish amount of cancerous cells outside the area of operation (new to SO when he opened me up) were pointed out by pathologist, when he noticed cancer hiding in between and underneath tissues in the outer boundary of SO's initial safety margin operation plan. These extended all the way to floor of voice box, and I am thanfull my SO saved my voicebox in the process. 

I saw my SO today and asked him for pathology report. He said there were 2 pathology reports both of which stating 100% of margins were negative. He explained to me at Stanford on a reccurrent cancer if 100% of margins are negative, another pathologist also examines the tissues. He said however that he does not have confidence in either pathologist reports, because "Cancer is Smart." He told me a good number of cancerous cells were found underneath or in between tissues, and not visible from surface of tissues. How can he be sure that He did not miss 1 of these areas or for that matter even just a few cancerous cells? He therefore refered me to a medical oncologist today to do chemmo on me.

Lesson learned as to how smart cancer really is.




  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,322 Member
    Cell Level

    This is why I guess many times more than not there is follow up with chemo and radiation because they are working down to the cell level which is really small. And the only sure way to finalize treatment and be as sure as possible there is no cancer left is to use the blanket effect of rads and chemo although it is not really a blanket effect as they can use these in a targeting effect as best I understand.

    It sounds like you went through quite an operation and congratulations on the outcome of getting the cancer out. And it sounds like your docs handled the unexpected parts of your operation well. It sounds like you had a really good team on your side.  mehrdad357 wishing you a good recovery and chemo follow through and for you to prosper in the days ahead and cherish each one. As we follow your journey like for many of us each one is not quick or easy and sometimes it is a day at a time but we persevere. Blessings to you and your family and stay strong.

    Does mehr stand for something in particular? Just wondering.