Sep 25, 2013 - 8:13 am
Hello, everyone. I am a new member of this group. In July I was diagnosed with tongue cancer. I had surgery (partial glossectomy) to have the tumor removed. I then had a functional neck dissection a month later. Cancer was found in one lymph node. According to the doctors, my margins were clear and the lymph node was not encapsulated (?) but due to the fact that the surgeon wanted to retain functionality of my tongue (yay) the clear margin was not what they would consider enough. All my tests have come back clear (PET Scan), yet they still recommend radiation to eliminate any microscopic cancer cells. Yesterday, I found out they are also recommending carboplatin along with the radiation. I am really torn. From my reading on this site and others, it seems this type of cancer eventually returns. Why go thru six weeks (and more) of hell just to have it return again? Doctors reasoning is I am young (51) and they want to give me the best odds for non recurrance, they are deeply concerned with the borderline margins, etc. Can anyone offer some feedback on life after radiation to the neck and mouth? Specifically, life without saliva which I understand is the life long effect this type of radiation as on a person?