Fortunately, because of the poor lymphatic
drainage from this area, squamous cell carcinomas rarely
spread elsewhere. Recurrence of the tumour at the site of
surgical excision is common unless there has been adequate
excision involving removal of a portion of the affected
For that reason, and after careful discussion
with her owners, "Penny" had 3 inches of her jaw
removed along with the cancer.
"Penny" has, thus far, been an exemplary
patient - eating her dinner with her newly designed chin
within 24 hours of returning home. We are hopeful that with
this early surgery her long term outlook is excellent.
Unfortunately, in Britain, oral squamous cell
carcinoma kills at least 1400 people each year with nearly
two thirds of patients with this cancer dying of their disease.
The poor prognosis for oral cancer in Britain reflects the
large proportion of patients who have advanced disease by
the time they are referred for specialist treatment. The
message from "Penny" is simple "If in doubt
get it checked out!"
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
to "Interesting Cases"
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