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Why did you have a neck Dissection?

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Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by Georgenone on Thu Mar 24, 2011 05:10 AM

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Is there any cancer patient out there who can really answer this Question?

Neck dissection is an exploratory procedure where Lymph Nodes are removed and examined to see if cancer has spread to the lymph system. Why is this done? If cancer has spread to the lymph nodes there is largely nothing they can do about it. They will tell you all they can do is watch to see where cancer may spread to next. Has anyone ever heard of any possible benefit from a neck dissection?

What could possibly make a neck dissection worth a guaranteed lifetime of pain and other problems?

I have read thousands of pages of information on neck dissection. What am I missing?

Neck dissection and a host of pathology reports failed to detect the cancer in my jaw. It was actively causing a horrible amount of pain both before and after surgery. Perhaps my point of view is too narrow to understand. What I see is they butchered my neck took out my tongue and larnyx but never touched or found the cancer causing the problem that prompted me to seek medical help.

So does anyone have some answers?

All lines of wisdom, witt or just plain *hit are welcome. After 3 and a half years of searching for an answer,  even a good laugh would be nice.

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by joannaw81 on Thu Mar 24, 2011 01:19 PM

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my mom had a neck dissection. here is what I know: if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes they want to take it out to prevent spreading to other sites. after removal of the lymph nodes the pathology will tell you how many of them actually had cancer in them. If not all of them are affected then there is a chance that the cancer did not spread to disctant sites. after the pathology report doctors should determine if further treatment is necessary like chemotheraphy for example....my mom had only one lymph node positive so doctors decided she will only get radiation.

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by Oudave83 on Thu Mar 24, 2011 02:45 PM

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GEEEEGEEEE,

There are a couple reasons-whether valid or not-I claim no expertise but pretty good at questioning docs aggressively:

1)One would be where a lymph node is too enlarged to take out by chemo or radiation(my case)...surgery was my only option....

2)radiation and chemo can target the neck, tongue, throat etc but removal of all the lymph nodes by section is the only certainty...plus, until you do a neck dissection you will not know how many nodes the cancer may have spread too....

3)removal of cancerous nodes is immediate.....instead of waiting on months of radiation thus hopefully lessening the chance of spreading.......imrt is great but you can never be absolutely certain once the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes like in my case until or unless they are removed..........

4) Depends on sites of the cancerous nodes, whether sentinal or not, the aggressiveness of the cancer, whether the cancer is HPV 16 or HPV etc....

Great questions...neck dissection is very painful and I agree, if the research bears it out I would prefer radiation and no surg3ery 4-sure....but then again talking in terms of 5 year survival rates as a group is acting with due diligence, but when it is your behind on the line, you want to be aggressive as possible if you are going for the cure...I ask the docs each this question, "If I was your brother, what would you tell me to do...."  neck dissection followed by imrt and chemo was the answer....

5)In sum, only think they do neck dissections where it has spread to a lymph node(s) and then a number of factors come into play-quiz the surgeon and radiologist oncologist and chemo oncologist so you and others are certain a neck dissection is necessary....

Best wishes to all and may the love of Christ who died for you and I grace, guard and protect my fellow warriors this Lenten season,

oudave83  dave 

ps..think of all the concern for radiation in Japan, shouldn't we likewise ask questions when it comes to multiple CT and PET scans over a 5 year period if we are so fortunate........????????????

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by Oudave83 on Thu Mar 24, 2011 02:56 PM

Quote | Reply

On Mar 24, 2011 5:10 AM Georgenone wrote:

 

Is there any cancer patient out there who can really answer this Question?

Neck dissection is an exploratory procedure where Lymph Nodes are removed and examined to see if cancer has spread to the lymph system. Why is this done? If cancer has spread to the lymph nodes there is largely nothing they can do about it. They will tell you all they can do is watch to see where cancer may spread to next. Has anyone ever heard of any possible benefit from a neck dissection?

What could possibly make a neck dissection worth a guaranteed lifetime of pain and other problems?

I have read thousands of pages of information on neck dissection. What am I missing?

Neck dissection and a host of pathology reports failed to detect the cancer in my jaw. It was actively causing a horrible amount of pain both before and after surgery. Perhaps my point of view is too narrow to understand. What I see is they butchered my neck took out my tongue and larnyx but never touched or found the cancer causing the problem that prompted me to seek medical help.

So does anyone have some answers?

All lines of wisdom, witt or just plain *hit are welcome. After 3 and a half years of searching for an answer,  even a good laugh would be nice.

ps...Ask them if they screwed up...second, if you were within a year of surgery, you can always consult with a medical malpractice lawyer-still may be workk the consult,,,,

......if they removed your tongue and layrnx  without good cause then I certainly would be furious.....but likewise, sometimes you have to be highly aggressive if your end objective is to save your life....some people prefer good pain and palliative care(wheree I would fall) rather than go all out for the "cure"(we...to each his own...... I will work on that good laugh for ya.....a priest, a minister and a rabbi walked into a bar......or went skydiving....(I'll work on the punchline for ya-take care sistaaaaa warrior!!!!)..............dave

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by Slowlane on Mon Mar 28, 2011 03:03 AM

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I had mine done (radical) in Jun 2010.  I had it done because I was told that it had to be done to carve out a tumor.  Well, once they started carving they just couldent quit.  They just kept finding more and more cancerous junk in there wrapped around my jugular and the muscle I cant spell or pronounce and lots of lymph nodes of course.  I have learned to ignore the pain but really get hot about not being able to use my right arm but, thats a payment on life.  If I were you I would be mad too.  Now it gets down to the point of where you are thinking that the surgeon was trying to make a car payment or he just got in over his head.  These thoughts are destructive but not preventable and I doubt you will ever find out exactly what happened.  Now I'm starting to ramble - I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel for you and am qualified to do so.  I pray that everybody did the best that they could and you can't ask for more than that.  Slowlane

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by REDVETTE on Mon Mar 28, 2011 03:26 AM

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Well, my husband did not have a neck dissection; they did a biopsy of the lymph node and said is was cancerous.   They did very aggressive chemo and radiation.   I am not sure why they didn't do a neck dissection.   My husband is cancer free - Praise the Lord - he does have residual side effects for the radiation but that is a small price to pay I guess.   We just love life and live each day to the fullest and hope and pray that the ugly beast does not rear its head again.   Hugs and prayers!

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by Oudave83 on Mon Mar 28, 2011 07:02 PM

Quote | Reply

On Mar 28, 2011 3:03 AM Slowlane wrote:

I had mine done (radical) in Jun 2010.  I had it done because I was told that it had to be done to carve out a tumor.  Well, once they started carving they just couldent quit.  They just kept finding more and more cancerous junk in there wrapped around my jugular and the muscle I cant spell or pronounce and lots of lymph nodes of course.  I have learned to ignore the pain but really get hot about not being able to use my right arm but, thats a payment on life.  If I were you I would be mad too.  Now it gets down to the point of where you are thinking that the surgeon was trying to make a car payment or he just got in over his head.  These thoughts are destructive but not preventable and I doubt you will ever find out exactly what happened.  Now I'm starting to ramble - I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel for you and am qualified to do so.  I pray that everybody did the best that they could and you can't ask for more than that.  Slowlane

Great post Slowlane-made absolute sense to me!  Heck yes youa re Qualified!!!!!!!!!!  Dave

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by steph_rn on Tue Mar 29, 2011 04:04 AM

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Because if you are really, really lucky...........they can find that the cancer is contained in one lymph node and prevent unnecessary radiation damage!  And if you are really, really lucky; you have a surgeon who does not leave you with residual pain and problems.  And I was really, really lucky.....and I thank God every day!  Without the neck dissection, I would have had to have more extensive radiation.............and the neck dissecton has left me with very little problems.  Don't know what lies ahead; just am thankful for tody.  And........I know that I was really, really, really lucky.

Love to all.............Steph

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by Oudave83 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 02:46 PM

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sometimes in life ya just gotta stick your neck out, no-LOL??????? Dave83

RE: Why did you have a neck Dissection?

by Sharjoe on Tue Mar 29, 2011 03:27 PM

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My husband just underwent (yesterday) a laryngectomy, neck dissection and reconstruction of this throat due to the damage from radiation.  Not all of the lymph nodes were removed because of the ones that were no cancer was found.  Yes it was a hard surgery and he is in much pain more from the chest incision for the muscle needed.  Was it worth it, for now to him, it was very worth it.  Chemo and radiation didn't help him, so surgery was the only option and even at 74 he wasn't ready to give up. 

Everyone decides their path of treatment.  If your doctors made a big mistake, then you need to get a second or even third opinion and look at a lawsuit if they made the mistake and there was no cancer because the surgery you had was major.  I wish you the best.

Sharon 

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