Anyone NOT have chemo?

Hello all, as you may remember my sad was diagnosed with SCC in sept and went through 30 rad treatments at MSKCC following a modified radical neck dissection.  He had three affected lymph nodes and primary was a very very tiny spot on BOT.  All along, the plan was always surgery and rads, no chemo.  The week before treatment started, a med onco at mskcc talked to him about options with chemo And that they could do a few rounds if he wanted to.  He weighed the pros and cons and talked to many people ande was told it wouldn't really make a difference in his case.  His radiation oncologist is the head of radiation at MSKCC and she said his prognosis is fantastic and radiation would be sufficient without chemo.  So that's what he wound up doing.

 

 He has done really great.  Almost no pain Meds, no feeding tube, ande healing really well.  But i am just so worried that maybe we should have also done chemo too.  It seems like many on this board have received both rad and chemo and I keep having second thoughts that we didn't do enough.  I woll be anxious until the first scan in March.

 

if you read back through my old posts, I first posted that my father in law died of oral cancer 4 years ago.  His was a very large tumor the size of a fist in his jaw.  Since that event, Im very scared ands have been experiencing so many ups and downs with my own dad.

any advice is greatly appreciated! 

Comments

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    katie, nobody can really say

    katie, nobody can really say if it would have made a difference.  eveyone's cancer is different and requires different treatment.  i was dx in 2009 and only had 35 rad tx.  others had rads and chemo and still yet others had surgery, rads and chemo.  only the doctors know which is best for the patient.  i'm afraid you will have to trust that what the docs did was enough and your dad will stay cancer free.  unfortunately, none of us is garanteed to stay cancer free regadless of the tx we had.  so, the best option is to live life to the fullest and not waste time worrying about something that may not happen.  you will miss making wonderful memories with your dad if you continue to worry instead of spending quality time with him.  let go of the worry and enjoy time with your dad being happy for today.

    God bless you both,

    dj

  • MGC
    MGC Member Posts: 72 Member

    katie, nobody can really say

    katie, nobody can really say if it would have made a difference.  eveyone's cancer is different and requires different treatment.  i was dx in 2009 and only had 35 rad tx.  others had rads and chemo and still yet others had surgery, rads and chemo.  only the doctors know which is best for the patient.  i'm afraid you will have to trust that what the docs did was enough and your dad will stay cancer free.  unfortunately, none of us is garanteed to stay cancer free regadless of the tx we had.  so, the best option is to live life to the fullest and not waste time worrying about something that may not happen.  you will miss making wonderful memories with your dad if you continue to worry instead of spending quality time with him.  let go of the worry and enjoy time with your dad being happy for today.

    God bless you both,

    dj

    Amen to that.
    I had rads and

    Amen to that.

    I had rads and chemo at the same time but no surgery. Almost 5 years NED now

     

    Everyone is different

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,721 Member
    chemo?

    Katie,

    Your team chose “no chemo” as their preferred option.   If you trust them, then do and have faith in the treatment.

    There are no guarantees of life, but we try to stay optimistic.  It is just a terrible game of chance which some of us must play.

    My best to your Dad.

    Matt

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Don't go and second guess his decision.

    There is no cyrstal ball and the treatment is based on each individual and there other conditions. Please do not go back and second guess you,he, should have done something different. You make the dission with the information you have at that time. His doctor saw no reason to have it.

    I only had surgery, no radiation or chemo. My head Dr went to the tumor board and they all discussed it. They came out that the RO said yes, the surgens said no, and the other Dr said no. I asked my head Dr, if you think I need it I will do it, but I don't want it if it up to me. You got all the tumor out and 86 lymph glands and all are clear. There is still a 25% chance It will come back, and 75% it won't. I have been NED for 15 months and getting better all the time.

    Some cases need Chemo and RAD. If you are HPV+ you respond better with both. Some just want RAD first to shrink the tumor, then follow with Chemo and surgery if needed. ALL have side effects we have to live with for years to the rest of our life. If they are not needed you shure don't want them to have to live with. For me, the RO came in first and explained what they "might" do and I would have radiation first to shrink it. He had not read my file yet, and that was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. I have bad lungs so that was off the table. However I would not have agreed to that. I was going to have surgery and remove the tumor first. I never new for me to have surgery they would have to take my voice and breath through the neck, or they would do nothing, which means I would die. Oh, I have never had a PET/CT after the surgery, it's not needed in my case. I had to be seen every two months for the first year and every six months until five years.

    Your dad is doing good. They can always go and give him chemo if needed down the road. I would have done the same as your Dad, and made the same choice. Only time will tell if it was the right one, but he won't have the side effects and can always still have it if needed.

    We all have a form of cancer, but we are all differant and the treatment can be just as differant for each of us.

    Just my view and thoughts. Just enjoy every day you have with him, and live to the fullest.

    Bill

  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Hi Katie

    That is very hard to say, on my first treatment I did not have Chemo I did only radiation. It did come back and so the second time I did more radiation with Chemo. The different was my first cancer was all in one place so no Chemo was needed, the second time cancer went into my neck as well as my sinus. All we can do it to trust our doctors and then try to live as healthy as you can, there are a lot of things you can do to help the body stay in good health.

     

    Tim Hondo  

  • Katie10485
    Katie10485 Member Posts: 41
    Hondo said:

    Hi Katie

    That is very hard to say, on my first treatment I did not have Chemo I did only radiation. It did come back and so the second time I did more radiation with Chemo. The different was my first cancer was all in one place so no Chemo was needed, the second time cancer went into my neck as well as my sinus. All we can do it to trust our doctors and then try to live as healthy as you can, there are a lot of things you can do to help the body stay in good health.

     

    Tim Hondo  

    Thanks

    Thanks guys.  I know i need to not look in the rearview mirror at this point and focus on the positive.  All along the recommendation was surgery and then radiation.  He is HPV+.  He has a great team and I need to trust their judgement.  The RO did not think chemo was needed.  The medical oncologist that talked to him about chemo thought he may want to consider it.  Given all the side effects and that his RO told him it would not improve his chances of survival, my dad said no to the chemo.  i am glad to hear you say that if it comes to it, he can have it later on.  I need to remember that.  Thank you!

  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,029 Member
    No Chemo here

    Katie,

    I had Base of Tongue cancer, found a tiny lump one morning. Long story made short, I had Surgery to remove part of my tongue. I also had a Radical Neck Disection, followed by Radiation only. My Surgeon and Radiation Oncologist said that they wanted to hold off on the Chemo in case of recurrence, which has not happened.

    I am now a 10 year survivor and had faith in my Doctors and their recommendations.

    My Best to You, Your Dad, and Everyone Here

  • Katie10485
    Katie10485 Member Posts: 41
    MarineE5 said:

    No Chemo here

    Katie,

    I had Base of Tongue cancer, found a tiny lump one morning. Long story made short, I had Surgery to remove part of my tongue. I also had a Radical Neck Disection, followed by Radiation only. My Surgeon and Radiation Oncologist said that they wanted to hold off on the Chemo in case of recurrence, which has not happened.

    I am now a 10 year survivor and had faith in my Doctors and their recommendations.

    My Best to You, Your Dad, and Everyone Here

    Thank you!!

    Marine, sounds like a very similar situation.  Thank you!!

  • joannaw81
    joannaw81 Member Posts: 185 Member

    Thank you!!

    Marine, sounds like a very similar situation.  Thank you!!

    no chemo for my mom

    Hi, mom was diagnosed in nov of 2010. Surgery, rad. It came back twice (u can read my profile). Even when she had the recurrances she  didnt have chemo. It will be 3 years since last surgery. Thank God she is NED until today. I always wondered if perhaps it wouldnt come back  if she did have  the chemo added. Again everyone is different. Trust ur doctors and take care!

  • TracyLynn72
    TracyLynn72 Member Posts: 839
    No chemo here

    I had MEC and it's not "very responsive" to chemo anyway.  I had rads (30) and three surgeries.  I have been cancer free since 6/21/13