A 9.5 cm tumour was extracted from the jaw of a 42-year-old man, a courier delivery executive hailing from Palghar, last week and the patient was discharged from hospital on Tuesday. Dr Sheetal Radia, head and neck cancer surgeon in Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road led the bilateral neck dissection surgery. The patient has been discharged from the hospital and can eat, swallow and speak properly now.
The patient had developed swelling on the right side of his lower jaw around two months ago and consulted local doctors but nothing helped the pain. However, as he started having difficulty in chewing food and also faced difficulty to open his mouth, he was later admitted at Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road.
Dr Atul Narayankar, consultant medical oncologist at the hospital said the patient had swelling and pain in the lower right jaw for two months. A CT scan and biopsy confirmed that he was suffering from stage 4 cancer which includes cancer in the buccal mucosa throat, lips, mouth, nose, and salivary gland. The patient used to consume tobacco and gutkha and also had a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which increased the risk of head and neck cancer, the doctor said.
As the tumour was large and had spread to the nodes in the neck, the doctors suggested two chemotherapy sessions to shrink the tumour before surgery. The patient completed the chemotherapy sessions in April and May, and as the patient responded well to the therapy, the surgery was undertaken last week.
In a five-hour surgery, more than half the lower jaw with cancerous lymph nodes in the neck was removed along with the upper bone, buccal mucosa muscle, and the skin, and it was replaced with the flap from thigh muscle (anterolateral thigh flap), Dr Radia said.