I was diagnosed with this cancer 11/25/08. The only sympton I experienced was that I had begun getting teeth pain in the upper left side for quite a few months. I was told to take a decongestant to aleviate the pain. The dentist just thought is was allergies causing sinus pressure to press on my teeth nerves. That worked for a short time. The pain got so bad and the teeth began to loosen. I also developed an abcess above the troubled teeth. The dentist sent me to an endodontist thinking I needed a root canal. He found the teeth alive and fine but thought that there was a periodontal issue going on. The periodontist flapped the gum, cleaned out the abcess but said there was bone loss between the two teeth and they would have to come out. I asked him to biopsy the abcess because I was worried about cancer but he didn't think it warranted a biopsy. I went to one oral surgeon and told him about my cancer fear. He full x-rayed my head and didn't see anything suspicious. I went to a different oral surgeon for the extractions and asked him so biopsy the tissue because of my cancer fear. He too didn't think it warranted it. The plan was to do a bone graft and then replace the teeth with implants. The bone graft wasn't taking and I continued to have pain and problems. I bounced back between the oral surgeon and the dentist. Finally put my foot down and told the oral surgeon something was wrong. By that time the area was abcessed again. He cleaned it out and did finally send it out for biopsy. Next came the dreaded phone call with the diagnosis. I have had two surgeries since then. The first, more of an exploratory to confirm the cancer and the extent and remove the exposed portion of the tumor. The second was a partial maxillectomy and removal of a portion of my pallet and bone along the tooth line. Scans show that it hadn't spread to any lymph nodes or other parts of my body. The bone taken out did test positive for the cancer. My next steps are to get 6 weeks of radiation once I heal a couple more weeks from the last surgery. Now that I have to wear a prosthetic device in my mouth, I am worried about the side effects of the radiation on my mouth, throat and salivary glands. Any suggestions that can be provided going into this would be great. Especially if there is anything I can do in preparation for the radiation and to help make post radiation symptoms not as severe. Thanks very much in advance!!