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Oncology (General Cancer)/about parotid low grade mucoepidermoid


QUESTION: "Dear Donald
I have been diagnosed with low grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma in my right parotid a year ago. I underwent surgery and followed by radiation therapy. 10 days back I experienced pain ( not obvious) in my left shoulder and arm. It is not persistent in in nature but intermittent.
Can right parotid carcinoma metastize to left lungs?
How many years I have to follow up for that?
Please tell me the guidlines to build my immune system against cancer.
Please help me. Thank you

ANSWER: A low grade parotid cancer is not likely to metastasize to the lungs, and if it did it almost certainly would not cross the midline.  So I don't think that is likely.  If the chest discomfort persists you should have an image (ct scan) anyway, since you could have other problems.  In general these tumors come back where they started in the first place and seldom metastasize.  If there is no recurrence after five years you are probably home free.
To build up your immune system:  make sure you are eating a lot of fruits and vegetables which promote immune system health;  these generally are the veggies and fruits that contain anti-oxidants.  don't be a fanatic about it though.  Don' buy acacia berry juice and other weird things.  Cut down on animal protein and fat.  Get exercise (30 minutes four times a week of brisk walking at least)  Stop smoking if you smoke.  There aren't any magic ways to build up your immune system, despite what the labels say in the drug store or in GNC.  And we aren't even sure how to measure "the immune system".  There is increasing evidence that moderate exercise done regularly is probably the single best thing to do for a healthy immune system.  Hope this helps.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Donald
Thank You very much for your reply. But one thing I want to ask is
Can Right parotid carcinoma metastize to Left lungs?
If yes how frequently it happens?
Please answer. Thank you.

Theoretically it's possible, but in my review of the literature it has never been reported.  Most tumors that arise in the head and neck area, and are located on one side if the neck, do not metastasize to the other side.  This is related to blood supply and the type of tissue the tumor needs to grow in.  As for your type of tumor, I can't find any examples of your kind of cancer metastasizing to the opposite lung.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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