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Husband Diagnosed with recurrent Nasopharyngeal Carcionma

Posts: 12
Joined: May 2013

My husband was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Carcionma 4 years ago it has returned in the same spot.   The ENT basically gave him a year and a half to live and told him that he cannot do radiation again.   Is this true?  He said it would melt this spine.  I am devastted he's 50 years old and I don't know what to do.  The cancer has not spread anywhere else but dr. said could spread to the brain or lungs.   The dr. said he can do chemo but it won't cure it.   I have been crying. He should have a second opinion but where do we go.  


I appreciate your help.

fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1216
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Karen,

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's re-occurance. There are several members that have had radiation a second time (a few more). My knowledge is that it depends on the situation. A 2nd opinion at a comprehensive cancer center is always a wise idea. Here is a link to the top cancer centers in the US. There's bound to be one somewhat close to you. I see the "NYC" on your screen name. Sloan Kettering in NYC is one of the top three in the country. I had a 2nd opinion done at Johns Hopkins and sought treatment there. They went above and beyond in accomodating me and getting the appointment set up. The top CCC's are another world. 


Positive thoughts and prayers




patricke's picture
Posts: 498
Joined: Aug 2006

Hey Karen, I am very sorry, to say the least, about your husband's cancer return.  If NYC indicates that you indeed are in New York, I suggest that you contact Mark Urken, MD, for a second opinion.  He is an ENT who literally is one of the best in the anywhere (you can find him on the web). Dr. Urken works out of Beth Isral, and I am Extremely happy with the work that he did on me two years ago for a tumor removal at the entrance of my trachea, which was a second shoe drop.  My heart goes out to you and your husband, and I hope that a second opinion will bring better news.


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4671
Joined: Mar 2012

majority of folks here will say a second opinion is absolutely necessary.....Patrick gave you a name of another ENT.....and there are many here on the east coast.  Just hang tough for a day or so, and people will chime in with ideas.  It's become more and more apparent to me, that second radiation is possible....

Sending you prayers and positive thoughts.


jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

As those before me have stated get a second opinion. All I can add is this, know one can predict when anyone will die. My husband's oncologist gave him less than a year July 2012. To date his oncologist is amazed that my husband has no pains or problems. I believe that the patients attitude, healthy diet and spiritual support are key. So don't give up and keep the faith.


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009


I also have NPC and it too came back a second time and I did radiation for it twice. You need a second opinion at one of the major Cancer Institution like Mayo Clint or MD Anderson. To answer your question YES he can get radiation twice. I am alive 8 ½ later and enjoying life. If you need my e-mail address is on my all about me page just click on my name; I will do all I can to help you help your Dad



PS: I don’t believe in the nothing more we can do, there is always a way



Still in Gods workshop


Posts: 12
Joined: May 2013

Thank you all for your help we have decided to go to Sloan Kettering for a second opinion and also Dr. Urken .  We are still in such shock and have to figure out what we will do financially.   I'm hoping we will get better answers from these doctors.

MarineE5's picture
Posts: 907
Joined: Dec 2005

As mentioned by the others, 2nd opinion is in order andyou have addressed this. I think, Longtermsurvivor had radiation a 3rd time recently. So, it can be done, as Hondo stated, he has walked that road twice as well. I was told that I could get it again if needed, hopefully I will not need it again.

Financially, you may want to contact your local Social Security Office and seek information about " Compassionate Allowance" Head and Neck cancers are on their list. It may take a few months before a check arrives, but get the paper work started.

You found the right place to seek answers to your questions. Allot of good and knowledgeable people here.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

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