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

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.

Can radiotherapy cure lung cancer?

Why would the doctor decide to give me radiation before he operates? 

In some cases, depending on the size and the location of the tumor, radiation is given to shrink the size of the tumor. This can be done either in conjunction with the operation or in place of the operation, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Is radiation therapy sometimes used after surgery? 

Yes. It can be used this way. About a month after the operation, when the chest tissues have had an opportunity to heal, radiation treatment may be started. Radiation is given to that part of the chest where metastases were found or seemed likely to occur.

Radiation Treatment for Lung Cancer

Can x-ray therapy be given to the other lung if one has been removed? 

Since radiotherapy to the lung can cause scar tissue to form, making it difficult for the lung to function, radiotherapy is usually not given to the opposite lung.


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