David I. Rosenthal, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I am trying to find information regarding a type of cancer, and I'm not sure I've got the name correct. I am probably spelling this wrong, but its Lymphoepithelioma. My mother had a tumor removed from a tonsil 3 years ago, had radiation treatment, and I'm fairly sure that was what her doctor told her she had. I am looking for any information/statistics of recurrence.  
Thank you very much for any information you may be able to provide.

David I. Rosenthal, MD, Director for Head and Neck Radiation Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Lymphoepithelioma in the head and neck region is a variant of squamous cell cancer in which there is a significant accumulation of normal white blood cells called lymphocytes in the tumor. This kind of cancer usually occurs in an area of the head and neck called Waldeyer's ring (this includes the nasopharynx, tonsils and tongue base).

The type of treatment and its outcome depends on the actual site in which the tumor arises, its extent of growth and spread, and individual patient characteristics. Each case needs to be evaluated individually and the chance of recurrence can only be predicted when all of the factors are known.