Necrotic Lymph Node after CRT - 1257892

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lphilips
Necrotic Lymph Node after CRT - 1257892

My husband finished treatment for SCC of the throat (HPV +, P16) consisting of weekly chemo with carbo and taxol and 7 weeks of radiation. The first CT scan still showed an enlarged lymph node so a PET scan was done several weeks later. The PET showed a mild uptake in the area of the lymph node. The doctors were not sure if it was due to radiation damage and inflammation or if there could possibly be residual cancer. We decided to go forward with a selective neck dissection. The results are as follows:

1/18 lymph nodes with metastatic squamous carcinome. The carcinomatous component is necrotic and is present in perinodal adipose tissue. There is associated calcification.

Could you please detail what this means in lay man terms. Does this mean that there was cancer in the lymph node but that it was killed of during treatment? Should the fact that calcification was noted be of particular concern or is that caused by the intense radiation. Also, should we be concerned that it was in the perinodal adipose tissue? Does this mean that all the cancer is dead and that since the nodes and tissue were also removed we can assume that we are in good shape? All other nodes and tissue were clean.

I truly appreciate your expertise. It has been a long seven months.

Thank you.

JimC
Reply To: Necrotic Lymph Node after CRT

Hello,

You'd probably need to talk to your own doctors, but the language in the report certainly sounds as though cancer cells were found. The fact that they are necrotic could certainly mean that the cancer cells are dead or dying. And Dr. Pinder had this to say about calcification:

"Calcifications are pretty common in lymph nodes in the chest (and elsewhere) and can occur as a result of prior infections, inflammation, scar tissue, and in some cases, cancer. The calcium itself does not cause the PET to light up but the underlying cause of the calcification can." - http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php?topic=5528.msg35742#msg35742

Close follow-up will determine whether all the cancer has been eliminated, but the CT and dissection results are certainly encouraging.

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>