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Metastatic Lymph Nodes

What to Expect After Treatment is Completed 

Once you have made it through treatment, you need to have close follow-up with your doctorThis follow-up plan is recommended after being treated for an oral cancer:  

  •  Visit your head and neck specialist on a regular schedule (or earlier if you have any concerning symptoms). This allows your doctor to examine you for any signs that the cancer has come back. 
  • For the first year, you should go every one to three months. 
  • For the second year, you should go every two to six months. 
  • For the third to fifth year, you should go every four to eight months. 
  • After five years, you can start going every year. 
  • Your doctor may request imaging. If something suspicious comes up, you might need another biopsy. 
  • Check your thyroid function every six to twelve months if you have had radiation to the neck area. 
  • Get help with a therapist as needed for difficulties with speaking, hearing and swallowing. 
  • See a specialist about appropriate nutrition and diet. 
  • Alert your doctor if you experience any signs of depression. 
  • Stop smoking and stop drinking; counseling may help. 
  • See a dentist. 

 

References

1 Patterns of cervical lymph node metastasis from squamous carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract. Patterns of cervical lymph node metastasis from squamous carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract. The American Journal of Surgery. 1990;160(4):405-409.

2 Patterns of Cervical Node Metastases From Squamous Carcinoma of the Larynx. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(4):432-435.

3 Zhang MQ, El-Mofty SK, Dávila RM. Detection of human papillomavirus-related squamous cell carcinoma cytologically and by in situ hybridization in fine-needle aspiration biopsies of cervical metastasis: a tool for identifying the site of an occult head and neck primary. Cancer. 2008;114(2):118-23.

4 Morton DL, Wen DR, Foshag LJ, Essner R, Cochran A. Intraoperative lymphatic mapping and selective cervical lymphadenectomy for early-stage melanomas of the head and neck. J Clin Oncol. 1993;11:1751-1756.

5 Civantos FJ, Zitsch RP, Schuller DE, Agrawal A, Smith RB, Nason R, Petruzelli G, Gourin CG, Wong RJ, Ferris RL, El Naggar A, Ridge JA, Paniello RC, Owzar K, McCall L, Chepeha DB, Yarbrough WG, Myers JN. Sentinel lymph node biopsy accurately stages the regional lymph nodes for T1-T2 oral squamous cell carcinomas: results of a prospective multi-institutional trial. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(8):1395-400.

6 Balaker AE, Abemayor E, Elashoff D, St. John MA. Cancer of unknown primary: does treatment modality make a difference? Laryngoscope.2012;122(6):1279-82. doi: 10.1002/lary.22424. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

7 Cooper, J. S., et al. (2004). "Postoperative Concurrent Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy for High-Risk Squamous-Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck." New England Journal of Medicine 350(19): 1937-1944.

8 Bernier, J., et al. (2004). "Postoperative irradiation with or without concomitant chemotherapy for locally advanced head and neck cancer." N Engl J Med 350(19): 1945-1952.

9 Doescher, J., et al. (2017). "[The 8th edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual: Updates in otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery]." HNO 65(12): 956-961.

10 Cohen, E. E., LaMonte, S. J., Erb, N. L., Beckman, K. L., Sadeghi, N. , Hutcheson, K. A., Stubblefield, M. D., Abbott, D. M., Fisher, P. S., Stein, K. D., Lyman, G. H. and Pratt‐Chapman, M. L. (2016), American Cancer Society Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Care Guideline. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 66: 203-239. doi:10.3322/caac.21343 

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