A 60-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳), had a benign tumor removed from his neck following a complicated surgery at New Taipei City Hospital, doctor Hung Li-ting (洪莉婷) said.
Hung, an otolaryngologist, said Chen, a smoker for 40 years, had been ignoring a hard lump on his neck for several years because it did not cause him discomfort until last year, when it grew.
X-rays confirmed Chen had a 6.25cm3 tumor on his neck that needed to be removed, Hung said.
The surgery was complicated because the tumor was under the facial nerve. An incision had to be made near Chen’s ear, then down and around the facial nerve bundle to remove the tumor, Hung said.
Growth of the tumor or a mishap during surgery could have compromised Chen’s control of his facial muscles, which might cause his eyes or mouth to droop involuntarily, she said.
Long-time smokers are a high-risk group for benign and malignant tumors, Hung said, adding that Chen smoked an average of 20 cigarettes per day.
It is likely that smoking triggered an inflammatory response in Chen’s his body that led to the growth of a tumor, she said, adding that neck tumors are often recurring and that Chen has been advised to stop smoking.
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