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Treatment Options - Recurring HNC / Unknown primary

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2010

Round two? Looking for anyone with information regarding treatment options for a recurrence of Metastatic HNC unknown primary (2 lymph nodes). My husband was originally diagnosed 2/18/10 biopsies of lymph nodes came back SCC, had tonsil removed and tissue biopsy's all negative. Treatment at major cancer center 10 weeks chemo with concurrent 33 rads (not localized due to unknown primary). Sept PET all clear, December ck up with ENT nodules on middle of tongue Drs have been watching ENT wants biopsy Med Onc says not necessary and did not do another PET. Now work physical Dr found something in throat that was not detected or was not present 3 weeks earlier @ last ENT visit. Appointment with ENT Tuesday for biopsy's? Looking for someone with information regarding treatment options, what now? Can he even have radiation again following the massive blast he received? (treatment end 6/3/10)

ratface's picture
Posts: 1320
Joined: Aug 2009

And it's going to be difficult waiting and then waiting for the results but it could be so many things right now especially after the radiation. Sure it could be cancer and only you know what the doctors have conveyed but at times nobody really knows.

Brachythearapy is routinely used after someone has been treated with radiation and it sounds like your husband may be a candidate. A friend in a similar situation as your husband had the radioactive seeds implanted on his tongue with good results.

Surgery is almost always a good option? Perhaps robotic surgery?

A different form of chemo is also an option, what chemo did he have. It may be that he will respond to another form. There are chemos that target all the cells in the body and then there are chemos that target cancer cells specifically. They will evaluate that.

Hoping he is having some blister reaction or infection of some sort!

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2010

He had Taxotere/Carboplatin. He seems to have two separate things going on
1) Nodules on middle of tongue (unlikely place for cancer to occur according to Drs)
2) New Lesion on throat.

Biopsy on tongue nodules for sure Tuesday. New lesion ENT has not seen yet so not sure?
It can't be very large as it wasn't there 3 weeks ago. I have read about laser surgery but not robotic? The Brachythearapy I have not researched, thanks I will look into that.

He had a horrible reaction to his treatment UCLA oncologist said it was the worst he has ever seen in his 25 years of experience. So hoping to stay away from erbuitux (sp?)

The waiting begins again; hope to have biopsy back by 2/18 ironically the first anniversary of his diagnosis. Really hoping for a blister or infection too!

The one thing I have learned it is easier to research ahead as everything happens really fast once biopsy is back. Thanks for the info ratface :)

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