I went to my GP in July and complained about a large lump on the left side of my neck. He prescribed antibiotics. In October I went back and the lump was larger than ever so he referred to an ENT and ordered a CT scan and ultra-sound.
The ENT placed me on antibiotics and biopsied the lump. (the CT-Scan results showed a similar mass on the right side of my neck as well and the ultra-sound revealed an 8mm nodule on thyroid.
The biopsy results revealed no abnormalities so, back on antibiotics for 3 weeks. As for the thyroid, both the ENT and GP felt is was too small to worry about at this time and they would recommend monitoring every 6 months.
After 3 weeks the ENT was surprised that the mass was still there, as large as ever so he recommended removal. This was done Dec. 18th and subsequent pathology report showed squamous cell carcinoma, unknown primary. Subsequent PET scan showed uptake on tonsils, lymph nodes on right side and left side of neck, and back of throat.
Since then, I've seen a radiologist and Onc. A porta-cath and PEG have been installed and last week, the ENT removed my tonsils and also biopsied the back of the tongue, nasal passages, and endopharynx. Unfortunately nothing revealed the source of the primary.
I'm scheduled to begin 8 weeks of chemo (Carboplatin and Taxol) once a week and radiation daily.
I'm under the impression this is pretty standard treatment for this type of cancer, but again, I'm very new at this and am relying on the docs for advice. This site has been a revelation to me with how many good people are going through something similar (and in many cases, much worse). I'm hoping some folks can help me understand what to expect once the treatments begin and post treatment as well. The doctor did say there is still a chance that I may need a neck dissection following chemo/rad, but we will cross that bridge later.
I'm 51, never smoked and am (was) in excellent physical health until this happened.
Any guidance and advice would be greatly appreciated. And thank you to all of you kind folks who take the time to shepard those like me through this.