My husband had oral cancer surgery on 1-31-05. The doctors thought he was healing better than expected. We went back for checkups recently because pain was still an issue (now under control) and he was starting to break out on his face and neck with what looked like acne. The doctor was afraid that it was dermal metastasis and did a biopsy, which came back positive. He didn't want to put my husband thru chemo because he knew that it would do more harm than good. Now my husband is under the care of hospice. What exactly is dermal metastasis? How do you get it? Is there any way he can survive? Some of the spots look like they are going away.
Posted: 16 Jun 2005 03:26 PM Originally Posted: 14 Jun 2005 10:10 AM
Dermis means skin. So dermal metastasis simply means the cancer spread to the skin. When cancer cells from the primary location (in your case the oral mucosa) gain access to the blood stream, they can float to nearby sites such as the lymph nodes, skin, or other organs. Usually treatment for the primary cancer (chemotherapy or radiation) will help the dermal metastasis too. But one study of leukemia that has spread to the skin requires both treatment of the blood with chemo and treatment of the skin with radiation. I am unsure what type and stage of cancer your husband has, as well the nuances of his condition, so am unfortunately unable to comment on prognosis. I do believe Dr. Randy Weber in Head and Neck has a trial using Iressa for treatment of head and neck cancers.