What happens if the treatment is not successful?
If the cancer relapses after radical radiotherapy, salvage surgery is often an option.
If there is a relapses in the neck nodes, but the main tumour is controlled, then cure is possible by an operation on the neck. If the tumour returns after an operation and radiotherapy has not been given, then it may be possible to aim for cure with radiotherapy.
If the tumour has spread to other parts of the body, then the aim of treatment is to maintain and maximise the quality of life. This may involve chemotherapy, given intravenously.