Jim Curtin, 75, of Tyringham, had experienced it before. The soreness inside his mouth six years ago had been biopsied, and the tumor was discovered to be benign. However, when the same feeling returned earlier this summer it was a much different story. Ear, nose and throat specialist John Burton, MD, at Berkshire Medical Center, performed a biopsy – and this time – it was malignant.
Mr. Curtin was referred to Alec Vaezi, MD, PhD, at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, who specializes in this type of surgery. The complex procedure would include the removal of the cancerous tissue and a portion of the jaw bone, while the removed portion would be replaced by tissue from the shoulder area. The 12-hour surgery took place on August 18. When one portion of the replaced tissue did not take, a second surgery was conducted on September 11.
Upon his arrival home, Mr. Curtin’s incision would need constant attention. Porchlight VNA was there to make sure the wound healed property and as quickly as possible.