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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of February 11, 2002

    Question:  I am a junior resident (registrar) in Surgery and I recently read that during the spread of breast cancer (or most cancers for that matter), the cancer cells spread from the primary tumor to the lymph nodes and other distant sites. If this is true, why do surgeons insist on axillary clearance during mastectomy? Since according to my reading the tumor cells will not spread from the axillary lymph nodes.    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   In the past few days I've had sharp shooting pains in the area where my jaw meets just under my ear. Is this anything I need to be worried about? I've been taking Tylenol and it eases it, but this has woken me up for the past two nights.    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   Could you tell me the difference between the conditions Pancreas Enzyme Deficiency and Chronic Pancreatitis?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer