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A life changing story: Intra-arterial Chemotherapy for a Rare Case of Giant Fungating Carcinoma of Lower Lip

Kaohsiung Municipal United Hospital   Last Update:2020-06-22

Miss X is 42-year-old, she came to seek medical attention for carcinoma of lower lip in May 2015. Two years prior, she found a small tumor on her lower lip but didn’t pay much attention, when the tumor started to grow bigger, she looked for every possible medical treatment, all of the doctors recommended surgery to remove the tumor together with a large portion of her lower lip, which would later be filled with thigh skin graft.

She was fear that her facial appearance would be damaged, she didn’t accept the doctors’ suggestions and looked for alternatives, which turned out to be futile. When she finally came to the hospital for intra-arterial chemotherapy through recommendation, the tumor had grown to a size of 10 x 5 cm, with partial ulceration and foul smell.

In the process of seeking cure, she was distressed and overwhelmed by the cancer, and her family also suffered. Eventually, through bumps and bruises, she accepted intra-arterial chemotherapy.

In a minor surgery, an implantable port-catheter was inserted through the superficial temporal artery into the external carotid artery with the tip located proximal to the branching of the facial artery.

Chemotherapy started the day after with 50 mg MTX being injected every 24 hours, administered continuously through catheter by a small portable pump every day. Normal tissue was protected through simultaneous oral administration of antidote. Medication lasted for 6 days and was terminated due to lowering of white blood cell count, there was no additional side effect.

Tumor shrink rapidly since the treatment began and disappeared totally two months later. Patient’s facial appearance and lower lip function were not affected at all. The patient was monitored periodically in outpatient clinic after discharge without additional cancer treatment.


As of today, there has been no recurrence after three and a half years’ follow-up, it is considered a full recovery.


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