recurring head and neck cancer - 1260149


My husband had treatment for tonsil and neck cancer. He had surgery to remove his tonsil and some of the tumor. He had chemo and radiation. His last treatment was 7 weeks ago. We have not had another pet scan yet. He is not feeling well again. His saliva has gotten thick and his nose his runny of and on. His all over feeling is not to good. His mouth is still sore. We have a doctor's appointment coming up. I wanted to know could his cancer be still there and acting up. The doctor said it was stage 3 not ruling out stage 4 in one area. Thank you


Dr West
Posts: 4735

It's certainly possible that there might be active, residual cancer, but the treatment for head and neck cancer is often about as rigorous as anything we ever do as oncologists. It's very typical to have side effects that may take a long time to resolve or may even be permanent, but the treatment may still emerge as effective and curative.

The key is regular surveillance scans, which can help clarify whether things look favorable or not.

Good luck.

-Dr. West