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Treatment failed!

paula002's picture
paula002
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2007

Please I need your feedback.

I was diagnosed Feb 15th with Squamous Cell Carcinoma stage 2b of the Nasopharynx (see message of April 9). Tumour less than 1 cm with one right side lymph node involved (removed). I finished radio (33 treatments) with Cisplatin in May 2007 and Cisplatin+5FU in August 2007.
Here is what happened after:

- Late Nov. 2007 I find a somewhat swollen supraclavicular node on the right side.
I immediately go to the doctor. The oncologist tells me that 99% of chances that it is benign because it is not as big and not as stable as the first one. I could either wait and see if it went away or do a biopsy. The ENT tells me the exact same story.
- Mid Dec. I do a scheduled MRI. The nurse on sight tells me that there was a doctor there who looked at the results and I was clean. Merry Christmas!
- Dec. 20 I go and get the biopsy done on the node and the ENT tells me that the MRI report is negative however will enquire to see if any abnormal activity near the node.
- Jan. 10 2008. The node is positive for Squamous Cell.
- Knowing that the node was positive, closer attention was given to the MRI. Doctor detected a 1cm cyst near the vocal cords. Dr tells me that these cysts are usually benign. Original site of cancer (nasopharyx) is clear.

Doctors insist that I have become their priority. They want to find out what is going on in order to proceed with the treatment. Next week I am scheduled for PET and CT scans of everything. They will also so do a biopsy on the vocal cords cyst and on the original site.

- Has anyone have this happen to them?
- Should I seek a second opinion? Second opinions take time and I know these doctors are moving fast.
- Do you know of any doctors that are well known in this field?
- Do you know of any other treatments for this type of condition?

Any information will be appreciated.
Thank you all,

Paula

be4man
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2007

Paula,
I just went through treatment for what you have been diagnosed with. I can't offer any advice on how to proceed but time is of the essence and I hope someone here can give you helpful info soon. I'll keep you in my prayers. Please keep us updated.
Barbara

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Paula, I had tongue cancer and a radical neck dissection in oct of 2005. In june of 2007, I asked why was not getting scans when they did their routine checkups, and why I had a persistent, if small, cough. They ordered a CAT and a PET. Afterward, I was told that cancer was prevailing throughout my lungs, and that there was cancer recurrent in my mouth area as well. I was given a date with death.

From that time until the time for the next CAT and PET to confirm, i took antibiotics for an infection in face and neck area (GP called it cellulitis). When I had the scans in August: all was gone! I was, they said NED (no evidence of disease).

Now, between then and now, a lot has happened as they have checked up on one spot in particular. This last few days, I've another CAT, another PET, and a brain MRI (routine, I hope). They want to take the spot out of my lung, even though they don't know if it benign or malignant.

I am going for it, because I believe in aggressive treatment, and would rather be scarred than sorry.

I am not sure that is the best advice, but I am rock solid behind my doctors in terms of their abilities and my faith in them.

Despite all of the leaps forward in terms of understanding, the human body continues to be much more complex than an automobile, and cancer continues to be an enigma in many ways.

I wish you the very best, and, from here, I am glad that you have 'very fast' doctors, once they figure out what is going on. Again, I prefer aggression. I know that cancer can be aggressive, and so I choose to be aggressive right back at it :).

Take care!

BugHunter's picture
BugHunter
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

Hi Paula,

Sorry to hear you are going through all this fun. Sounds like your Doctors are on top of things. I don't think you should see it as a failed treatment but rather a treatment in progress. Ours is a very treatable condition these days, but sadly they do not always get it all on the first try so, try, try again as the old saying goes!
Praying all goes well for you!

Bill

paula002's picture
paula002
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2007

Thank you all for your responses.
Well my doctor sure is moving fast and I am grateful. Tomorrow she will operate on me: she will take 2 biopsies (throat and nasopharynx) and she will remove the affected lymph note (and a few other nodes surrounding it).
I am hoping that the problem is only with the lymph node.
Soccerfreaks, that is amazing the fact that it went away like that. Do the doctors know why? Was it related to the medication you were taking?
BugHunter, you are completely right. It is a treatment in progress.
Take good care,

Paula

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Paula: To answer your question, the doctors surmise that the keflex I was taking for the cellulitis actually cleared up a lung infection as well. That is their story and they are sticking to it :).

In the meantime, I am hopeful that your surgery today goes well!

Take care.

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi Paola,

I'm sorry you are going through all this. I have a different type of cancer with many mets. I trust my ENT, oncologist and radiologist completely so I don't go for second opinions, especially because if anything comes up, they immediately start looking for answers. You know your doctors so it's up to you whether a second opinion is necessary.

I agree 100% with soccerfreaks. I prefer an agressive treatment and MRIs and scans as part of the follow-ups because when anything is caught early, it has a better chance of being controlled or taken care of. Everybody is different and I am not good at waiting months to see what happens.

I've had small tumors in my lungs that didn't show up in the next MRI and reappeared again a couple of years later. I think everybody's body behaves differently.

I wish you the best and you will be in my prayers.
God Bless.

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