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A 65-year-old male asked:

My dad is 65 and has a slow growing tumour on the floor of his mouth. he's had oral cancer 5x & no more treatment is possible. how long does he have?

5 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine 41 years experience
Hard to say but...: This is impossible for anyone to know, esp. Since you have not told us the type of tumour he has (there are mult. Possibilities). But even if we knew it is hard to predict. I question whether no treatment is possible. Get second (; 3rd) opinions. Even if conventional options are exhausted alternative therapies- diet, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, mind-body approaches etc. Could extend his life.
Dr. Ronald Krauser
A Verified Doctoranswered
Rheumatology 53 years experience
Impossible to say: It depends on the specific cell type of the tumor and how aggressive it is.
Dr. Milton Alvis, jr
Preventive Medicine 42 years experience
No Physician Knows: It is impossible to make accurate, reliable predictions for any individual, at any time. Occasionally physicians suggest time frames based on loosely defined averages of groups of people, but even a physician very familiar with your father's situation cannot predict with much accuracy. As embodied souls with a mind, complex+fragile brain running a complex+fragile body with millions of orders/sec:.
Dr. Milton Alvis, jr
Preventive Medicine 42 years experience
Provided original answer
The primary job of the immune system is to protect our body's existence from cells which (a) kill other cells &/or (b) also grow in other portions of the body; the two primary definitions of cancerous cells. Everyone gets malignant cells, yet most of us not cancer. What it the difference? Those whose immune system kills the cancer cells way before Doctors finally see cancer & those who do not.
Mar 8, 2014
Dr. Milton Alvis, jr
Preventive Medicine 42 years experience
Provided original answer
While people/physicians have developed and continue to promote many different treatments for cancer, they are essentially all off target; removal of obvious cancer growth or poisons (of all cells), none perfectly targeted. The larger factor is what is going in within your father, at hidden levels; his reasons for giving up on life & all its difficulties versus staying alive for whatever purpose(s)
Mar 8, 2014
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
There's no telling: It could be tomorrow. It could be years. Enjoy each day with him.
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Hard to tell: If the tumor is not that aggressive (slow growing) and he maintains the ability to swallow and breath for a while, he may be able to do quite well for a while. It really depends on the type of the tumor, its growth and the involvement of the adjacent organs.

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Last updated Mar 12, 2020

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