What is a radical neck dissection? when is it done?

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What is a radical neck dissection? The surgeon removes a block of tissue from the collarbone to the jaw and from the front to the back of the neck. The large muscle on the side of the neck that is used for rotating, flexing or extending the neck is also taken out, along with the major vein on the side of the neck. Sometimes, a less drastic operation, called a supraomohyoid neck dissection is done. This takes out only the lymph nodes, the tissue surrounding the nodes and a muscle at the front of the neck. Another technique, called a functional neck dissection, saves the muscles of the neck, taking out only the lymph nodes and tissues surrounding them.
What kind of incision is made with a radical neck dissection? The incision depends upon what the surgery is for. It can run from below the ear to the collarbone. Everything in the front of the neck on one side or on both sides may be removed. This may include the lymph nodes, blood vessels, nerves, and the salivary gland under the jawbone.

What happens if you are pregnant and have breast cancer?

Can a woman who has had breast cancer safely have a baby? 

Most doctors discourage women from becoming pregnant for from 3 to 5 years following treatment for breast cancer, since recurrences most often happen during this period of time. Recent research has shown that pregnancy after breast cancer has no effect on survival rates. Statistics for women who have had breast cancer and become pregnant are at least as good as those of similar women who do not become pregnant.

What is the outlook for women who discover breast cancer during pregnancy? 

About 7 percent of women who develop breast cancer happen to be pregnant at the time of diagnosis. The outlook for a pregnant woman is just as favorable as that for a nonpregnant woman of the same age with a similar stage of disease provided that the cancer is diagnosed and treated promptly. When a suspicious lump is found, prompt biopsy is just as appropriate for a pregnant woman as for a nonpregnant woman. Biopsy can usually be performed on an outpatient basis, with little risk to the fetus. 

Mother and baby healthy after breast cancer treatment during pregnancy


The types of biologic changes that occur during pregnancy high output of hormones like estrogen and prolactin are known to favor breast tumor growth. Nevertheless, termination of the pregnancy does not improve a woman's prognosis. Breast cancer has never been known to spread across the placenta to the fetus. Chemotherapy is hazardous to the development of the baby during the first 3 months. During the second and third trimesters, the drugs may not interfere with the development of the baby, but the long range effects are uncertain. Radiation also poses hazards to the baby, and its use is discouraged during pregnancy.

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