Hello Cancer Fighters/survivors,
I just met with my radiation oncologist today and got some disturbing news, maybe I am over reacting. She told me that I would be recieving radiation on both sides of my neck and subsequently would no longer have any salivary glands left because the radiation would make them useless due to the amount and strength of the radiation.
1. Is it the normal course of treatments to have the radiation on both sides of my neck even though I had a left neck disection/left lymphnodectomy and left tonsilectomy? Has any body only had radiation on the affected side of the neck?
2. What is life like with no salivary glands? Bio-teen for life? Poor dental hygene?Dry mouth for life?
3. Has anybody's salivary glands recovered?
4. HPV-16 cancer is so new and so little is known about it that it seems like the doctors are over proscribing medical treatment, it has been intimated that, in five years, the doctors will look back and say "Wow, we put those poor people thru hell with those draconian treatment protocols".
5. Has anybody out there done a scaled back approach to the radiation that saved at least one side of the salivary glands? Since HPV-16 responds so well to treatment? Or am I stuck with a B-52 carpet bombing campaign? Lets wipe out the whole coutryside to get an enemy holed up in a tiny village!
6. Am I freaking out over nothing?