Fred is a 62-year-old retired security officer who used to work for British Rail. He lives with his wife Marcia. He has five children and eleven grandchildren. His hobby is car maintenance.
In 1998 he developed a painless lump on the right side of his neck. He thought this had been caused by a wardrobe falling on his shoulder. It continued to grow and in 1999 he was found to have a malignant tumour of his right tonsil, which had caused this secondary (metastasis) in a lymph gland in the neck (squamous cell carcinoma).
He underwent surgery in which his lower jaw was split in the middle and swung out like the cover of a book to expose the cancer at the back of his mouth. The back of his mouth was removed along with part of his tongue and the lymph glands in his neck. The area was reconstructed with skin from his forearm using microscopic techniques to join the tiny blood vessels keeping these tissues alive to branches of the carotid artery and jugular vein in Fred’s neck. The jaw was replaced in its correct position using titanium metal plates to fix it rigidly until it had healed. Fred was then treated for six weeks with radiotherapy.