Jan 06, 2013 - 2:12 am
My wife age 64 was diagnosed with stage 2 SCC of the left tonsil and has had a radical neck dissection (biopsy of 33 lympth nodes all negative) and robotic surgery which removed the tonsil and surrounding tissue with ample negative margins. Surgeon indicated that she might be able to avoid Rads due to the success of the surgery but the pathology report on the excised tissue showed that LVI (LymphoVascularInvasion) was present and that Rads would be a prudent follow up.
A pre-treatment exam by the oral surgeon resulted in the recommendation to remove two otherwise healthy wisdom teeth on left side as the healing area around those teeth was too restricted to allow for adequate hygeine which could result in decay and better to get them out before rather than after radiation treatments.
She is considering not getting the rads as the recurrance rate is deemed low and all the downsides to rads treatments seem so negative. Her thoughts are to wait and see if in fact the cancer spreads (keeping a close eye on it periodically) and then if it does, agree to get the rads. It seems like one should always get treatment sooner rather than later but what if the treatment turns out not to have been needed afterall? Brittle teeth, burns, loss of taste, dry mouth, and God knows what else? Having a hard time getting my head around what to do. Any thoughts would be most appreciated. Thanks.