Cancer Remission

Last Modified: June 8, 2012


My doctor told me there is a chance that my cancer could come back. Will I have to get radiation and chemotherapy again?


Patricia Dooley, Associate Director of the Division of Speech Language Pathology at Penn Medicine, responds:

If cancer returns in a previously radiated area, the best treatment, ideally, would be surgery. If surgery is not feasible, then there would be consideration of repeat radiation. The risk of severe toxicity is higher for the second course of radiation when compared to the first course.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Head and Neck Cancer Q&A Webchat transcript.