Q. My grandfather had throat cancer 15 years back. Has the same cancer recurred now?

Answered by
Dr. Sadaf Mustafa
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 10, 2017

Hello doctor,

I want to know how serious is my grandfather's cancer. I do not have a lot of details, and I am away from home. He had throat cancer 15 years back. Now from the past two months, he was having breathing problems and extreme weakness, so the doctors did a tracheotomy to help with it. Now, we got his biopsy report which states cancer. Please let me know more details about it. What are the next steps to be taken?

His biopsy report reads biopsy from the post-cricoid region show multiple grayish white small bits. The section includes cells showing squamous cell carcinoma. The section also shows focal areas of necrosis. No specific evidence of any muscular, lymphovascular or perineural invasion is observed in the provided biopsy. The impression is well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma.



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  • Squamous cell carcinoma itself has a better prognosis. It also depends upon the stage of cancer. Given the fact that he has a well-differentiated form of squamous cell carcinoma, his prognosis is relatively fair.
  • It would be very helpful if you can provide more information including CT scan of the chest or MRI of the brain or a bone scan and liver studies because squamous cell carcinoma tends to go to the brain and the bone.
  • Please also share if your grandfather had any chemotherapy or radiation therapy other than tracheostomy. Thank you.

Revert with more information to an internal medicine physician online -->

Hi doctor,

Thank you for replying. He had chemotherapy 15 years back to treat the throat cancer he had. Is it the recurrence of same cancer or something else? As per my current information, other tests are yet to be conducted. I will get back on this as soon as I have more information.



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  • Yes, it seems to be recurrent squamous cell carcinoma, if it was the same type of cancer 15 years ago. How old is your grandfather? Please make sure they get a thorough workup for metastasis.

Thank you.

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