Due to the individual personalised approach to treatment in each case we couldn’t do justice to personalised timelines. The role of oral and maxillofacial surgery is primarily to help make a diagnosis and manage any discomfort associated with that process in a very similar manner to the involvement in managing blood malignancies.

Metastases beyond the head and neck region (below the clavicle (collar bone) or to the brain), with the possible exception of a particular form of facial skin melanoma (BRAF-positive mutation, where there is demonstrable benefit in targeted therapy), has essentially no 5-year survival. So the intention of treatment for this form of metastases is palliative.

Regional metastases (to cervical lymph nodes) is part of the usual treatment. While it does reduce the 5-year survival figures in studies of large numbers of patients, it is almost always worth undergoing additional treatment for. The healing process is that for management of the primary malignancy.

Metastasis from another site to the head and neck region is very variable. It can occur in prostate cancer (to the mandible (lower jaw)), where it may be appropriate to undertake local excision as part of a palliative process. It may also occur with breast cancer or lung cancer where this is rarely the case. Haematological malignancies are different, particularly lymphoma where a neck lump may be a presenting symptom and treatment may be with curative intent.