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Second Radiation Treatment Decision

JDMan
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2013

Ten years ago I had chemo & radiation in the head and neck area.  

I have just been rediagnosed, and had surgery for the base of tongue, and removal of 20 lymph nodes in neck.

I suppose, due to the prior radiation, my neck is very stiff and limited.

I am concerned about the side effects of the proposed second radiation and chemo.

I was wondering if anyone might have experience with a 2nd radiation to the head and neck area.

thanks.

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mar 2010

As have several others who are either regular or periodic contributors.  I had BOT cancer in 1998, with a radical neck disection and 35 rad sessions.  I then had floor of mouth cancer in 2010, getting one of those 14 hour long megasurgeries.  I actually developed a third cancer a year later, soft palate and left oropharyx,  receiving Erbitux, Taxotere, and Carboplatin,  along with another 34 rad sessions.  I am now 14 months out from that treatmet, alive and NED.  I  do have side-effects from the treatments.  Speech is somewhat affected, and my ability to eat solid food is pretty much curtailed.  But I am doing very well considering.  I just finished a 185 mile hike, for instance.  I'm happy to correspond more with you if it would be helpful.  You might read my bio, and if I can provide you more info let me know.

 

best to you

 

Pat

JDMan
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks for taking the time to respond.  That hike is very impressive.  You mentioned no more solid foods.  I was curious if you are still able to drink liquids, or if it is now feeding tube only?  Thanks for your imput.  it is encouraging.

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mar 2010

I have never had a feeding tube.  Never, even through the two radiation treatments.  I have had enough radiation fibrosis that I have sigificant trismus.  My mouth opens a little less than 2 cm.  Also chewing is difficult, and swallowing is pretty slow.  I can eat solids, but the bites are so small and I have to chew so long that it isn't practical to get my calories that way.  My sense of taste, however, is perfect.  I puree most foods, and have become an expert at manufacturing varios gravies.  That way, I'm able to eat most things.  But I probably drink half my calories in the way of Boost or Ensure.  It is just more practical to do it this way, especially when I travel. 

In all, this is not a bad result.  I've made the adjustment, and am not unhappy as a result of the compromise.  I see KTeacher has responded below, and if Tim Hondo comes around, he's been through several treatments as well.

 

Pat

Ladylacy
Posts: 464
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in June 2010.  He underwent 35 radiation, 3 chemo treatments and then in March 2011 he had surgery.  In April 2012 he decided to have the procedure for a TEP and the specialist found a tumor at the cervical of his esophagus.  Surgery was out.  He went thru another 35 radiation and 7 chemo treatments.  We had been told after the first round of radiation, that was all he could have on his neck area.  Well to say the least we were surprised to find out that they could do more by pin pointing the radiation.  We were warned of possible problems like the cartoid artery bursting.  He had no problems other than his throat closing off again which they were able to open and some minor burning on the outside where skin graft was done during the surgery.

Now the cancer has spread and recurred at the cervical of his esophagus.  No more radiation and surgery isn't an option due to the spread to his right lung.  Someone told me that the radiation could have caused the tumor at the cervical of his esophagus. 

Wishing you the best -- Sharon

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2299
Joined: Jan 2010

i don't know about the second round of radiation, i just wanted to say i'm sorry for the second dx.  i will add u to my prayers.

i'm sure several others will chime in and give u the info ur looking 4.

God bless,

debbiejeanne

KTeacher
Posts: 895
Joined: Jan 2011

I have had radiation to head/neck 3 times.  I haven't had as long of a clean (NED) period as you.  Aug. 2010 first 'c,' right upper lip--surgery followed by radiation.  July 2011--neck dissection followed by radiation.  November 2012--bugger crept up nerve in face to optic nerve, eye removed followed by chemo and radiation.  I am eating and drinking (water and milk Skiff!), I do not handle spice but herbs are good, bread is a bit dry but milk helps wash it down.  Sorry for your new dx, treatment is not fun but doable.  Check out the Superthread for help and suggestions.

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