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Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 45949
Experience:  Experienced Oncology Physician trained in New York City. I'm ready to help.
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Hello doctors, I hope you can help me. My 78 year-old male

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Hello doctors,
I hope you can help me. My 78 year-old male friend had a 7cm tumor in his ear treated by radiation almost 1 year ago. He was given 27 radiation therapy treatments. I believe the cancer was basal cell. The radiation destroyed alot of good tissue. In fact, his ear is barely still attached to his head. There is no skin behind his ear. btw... he is not fond of doctors, so he is refusing to go to his oncologist or any other doctor. Recently, he developed a kind of sore right in front of his ear. After a few days I realized that the skin had literally been eaten away. This continues to spread in an area upwards toward his eye socket, forward into his cheek, and downward almost to his jaw bone. The skin is gone! I can see the bones in his face! To make matters worse he cannot chew because his jaw is "locked up" - I found this is a fairly common side-effect of radiation in this area. His main nutrition has been Ensure for quite some time. He is down to 92 lbs with clothes and shoes. He should be about 160 lbs. He absolutely refuses to get medical help. He plans to die at home. He is not mentally incompetent - just STUBBORN. He has no family. Is there anything I can do for him?
Thank you for any help you can offer!!
L. McDonald
Lancaster, Ohio
This can be recurrnent cancer, unfortunately, and not just radiation.
It can also be complicated by infection.

He is going to die at home at this rate and there is no home remedy or way that you can stop this process as it needs expert identification and treatment.

If he is not incompetent it is his right to stay at home.

The best thing you could do is get any family members or significant others involved at this point.
good luck

Let me know if you have further questions, details or need clarification, just use reply.......

Please Click Accept to give answer credit so I am compensated for time and expertise. Come back if needed. Bonuses and positive feedback most helpful. Answers for informational purposes only, not to replace your physician advice or visit.

DrRussMd, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 64357
Experience: Many years in internal medicine. Oncology is one or our sub-speciaties/I help Onc fix side effects
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Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and am ready to help.

I am a radiation oncology doctor

I think your friend has developed soft tissue necrosis behind his ear

I don't think it is the basal cell cancer has spread

he should consult with wound clinic

they might give him silvadine ointment, or medihoney or hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy to try to heal the wound
this also sounds like a gross overtreatment of a simple basal cell cancer of the ear. usually we use very superficial radiation therapy like 6MeV electrons with 0.5cm of bonus so the radiation does not penetrate more than 0.5-0.75cm into the tissue. he should also have had lead shielding behind his earlobe to prevent exit does into the skull and soft tissue.

basal cell cancers are the easiest skin cancers with highest cure rates. a 7cm basal cell cancer must have been neglected for a long period of time to get that large.

it is really unfortunate that he has developed this horrible side effect from radiation therapy.

also skin grafts will do no good after this radiation necrosis

he needs to also do jaw openning stretching exercises and neck stretching to prevent scar tissue setting in. scar tissue from radiation is stretchable during the first 6 months after therapy. after that it becomes very fixed and he will have jaw openning problems forever after that.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Dr. David,


I am sorry, but I did not realize you had answered my question. I had not looked at my e-mail until just about 15 minutes ago. Dr. Thomas had answered, and I saw his answer, accepted it, and have had $75 posted to my bank account. I did not realize that more than one doctor could answer my question! This was my first time using this wonderful service. I only have enough money to accept one of your answers.


Sadly, your answer(s) make much more sense to me! Unfortunately, my friend had his radiation last March. After the last of his 27 radiation treatments his oncologist said, "Don't call me. I'll call you in 3 months". Three months came and went. His oncologist finally called him in the fifth month. He wanted my friend to have another ct scan and then make an appt. My friend was so disgusted he would not go back. That experience was so bad he refused to see ANY doctor! I did not blame him... but he left me no way to help him.


It is my opinion that my friend will die much earlier than he should, after about 10 months of misery! If only I had known about this web site earlier! By the way... my friend did wear a mask during his radiation treatments.


If you want me to, I will gladly pay you for your other two answers at a later date. However, I do not know how I can do that through this web site or some other way. Please advise on this.


You will never know how much I appreciate your answers! Although it definitely is too late to help my friend, I have received answers that I never expected to receive. I thank God for you, doctor!!!


Lois McDonald

Lancaster, Ohio

if your friend continues not to get care for a wound necrosis, it could get infected and he could die from a wound complication issue. the mask is to hold the head skill during treatments and to hold him in the same position day after day.

try your best to enourage him to see a doctor and get some care for his wound. there is a chance that it can get better with therapy

thank you for your kind words.

you can contact customer service about this question and tell them which doctor's question you would rather accept.

you can always reach me as Dr. David in the oncology section of Just Answers for cancer questions and in the Medicine section for other medical questions

Thanks for your reply.
Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 45949
Experience: Experienced Oncology Physician trained in New York City. I'm ready to help.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for giving me hope my friend can still get help! I will work with customer service regarding payments. Thanks again!

best of luck to you and your friend

thanks for using