Oncology (General Cancer)/about lung cancer


Dear Donald Higby

I was diagnosed with low grade mucoepidermoid in my right parotid with perineural invasion and infiltrative border 3 years ago. I was treated with surgery and followed by radiation therapy. Now I am doing well.
1) What is the chance of cure in my case?. Should I follow up or cautious about anything else?
2)For last 2 years I have unusual left chest pain that ONLY HAPPENS WHEN I SLIGHTLY BEND MY CHEST. That happens occasionally( not every time). It appears that pain coming from inside of left lungs to outside of rib near breast. There are no other symptoms. There is no elevated symptoms chest pain ( intensity of pain is constant when it comes for last two years). There is no chest pain with activity. Can it be a symptom of lung cancer?

Upto how many years the lung cancer remains symptomless? Is it gradually worsening with time?
Please patiently read my case and reply. I am worrying a lot.
Thank You.

1.  You are almost certainly cured of the mucoepidermoid cancer if you are out three years.  If you were a smoker, I hope you stopped.  In any event, you shouldn't be troubled by that.
2.  If you've gone two years with a symptom that has not gotten worse and occurs intermittently upon a certain kind of movement, its probably not cancer.  The more likely thing is that it's mild irritation of a rib; sometimes the lining of the rib can become inflamed because of previous injury, and movement can cause discomfort.  Other possibilities include a little chronic pleuritis (from an old lung injury or infection).  In any event, I don't think its likely to be cancer, and I wouldn't worry unless it gets worse.  Hope this helps.  

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

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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