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Head and Neck Cancer

Rare Jaw Tumor

03/20/2009

Question:

My father has been diagnosed with a very rare jaw tumor on his lower jaw. The doctor said only 200 other cases have been reported, he is number 201. Could you give me a name for this kind of tumor because no one seems to know. He has to see an ear nose and throat specialist within 2 weeks. They told him surgery is the only option because chemo and radiation won`t do any good. Thanks!!!

Answer:

There are a wide variety of unusual tumors of the jaw. I am sure the ENT doctor will give you a precise name for this tumor. The wide majority of jaw tumors are treated with surgery. The tumor and a little margin of normal jaw around the tumor is removed. The jaw is usually repaired with vascularised bone most often taken from the leg.

The cosmetic and functional results are good. The prognosis depends on the type of tumor. For some of the malignant tumors radiation is given after the surgery to improve the chances. Make sure you get your questions answered by the surgeon at the time of your visit.

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Response by:

Pierre  Lavertu, MD, FRCS(C), FACS Pierre Lavertu, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University