Jan 01, 2010 - 12:32 am
I met with my onco (Dr G) today and he did a complete exam and took more tissue for his pathologist because UC had not yet sent the FNA slides to him (ARGH!).
My official diagnosis ("for now") is squamous cell carcinoma (scc) of unknown origin with multiple (3 or 4) lymph node metastasis (right jugular chain, above and below the swollen node). The reason the tumor "shrunk" is because of the aspiration from the 3rd biopsy (according to Dr G) although the pathologist (Dr L) who did the aspiration said she didn't know why it shrunk.
Ok, so Dr G (a surgeon) says the protocol he recommends neck dissection to remove the regional nodal basin, which is pretty aggressive. They want to take ALL the lymph glands as well as the salivary gland in my jaw, which I am told I will not miss. Indeed, the rads will probably kill the salivary glands anyway. He will also do random biopsies of the pharynx to try and find the primary. If they cannot find the primary (not uncommon) it is called an occult primary of unknown origin. the aggressiveness of the treatment is a bit of a bummer since getting the PET report (no primary, no distant metastasis).
That will be followed by radiation and chemo, fortunately I can have the rads done locally, only 7 miles from my home and only a mile from my work (I am a MFT Intern working at a free community clinic). I will probably have to stop seeing clients which is a bummer.
Does anyone have experience with this treatment protocol - neck dissection and aftereffects/issues?
Lastly from Tricia, Dr G agreed about the sugar but slightly disagreed about oxygen/pH. he feels sugar definitely has an impact on malignancy growth. He disagreed that cancers cells don't like oxygen so I need to go back and review my source for that. He feels that the body will regulate pH just fine, but making sure of a balanced diet is the best way to avoid disease.
Thanks to all for your attention and care.