My Catch 22 and Advice ASAP


Thanks for all the great advice that other people on this group have given to me.  The shorter version of it is that:

1) I have had CT scan, needle biopsy of lymph node, Pet CT scan (8/17), MRI and Biopsy at the base of the tongue (8/30/16)

2) Based on this my Medical & Rad ocologist have both said I am at stage 4b, even though the tumor size is 2 cm in diameter

and I have no symptoms besides my neck lymph nodes that are swollen. Upon me asking them how long before it goes to stage

4c, both oncologists have told me it can be 1 week from now or 2 months.

The Rad. Oncologist told me about seeing my dentist for my teeth. He told me to "ask my dentist any tooth that he thinks is hopeless

shold be exrtracted befor Radiation can start." I am tenatively for a PET CT Scan on 9/20/16 to make the mask. I am the one who

decides to keep it or cacel it.

3) I saw my dentist on 9/16/16 and he told me all of the teeth are OK, but due to incurable bone loss there is 1 tooth that he can

guarntee for 6 month, but not any longer. He said if my oncos and I were not concerned about 4b to 4c jump he would extract it,

but he said it willtake at least 1 week or perhaps 2 for the wound at site of extraction to heal fully. He added if I take proper care

of that tooth (especially rinsing with Periogard and Biotine), it will prevent further bone loss and I may last for an indefinite period of time.

Now the dilema is shorter and clearer.

4) I will have to let Rad onco know by 9/19/16 wheter I want to start treatment (PET scan on 9/20) or 1st do any teeth business.

Any furrther advice will be greatly appreciated.

  Thanks to all of you




  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
    edited September 2016 #2


    I had no pain, just a lump and ulcer on BOT, both tested positive for cancer & HPV+.

    I was stage IVa,  scc, bot, 1 lymph node, hpv+ (surgery, rads, Erbitux).

    Staging may change, depends if the cancer is in slow growing stag or not.  I do not know about yours.  I do not know what sets cancer off from slow growing to fast.

    Teeth – if they are good with no current problems, treatment may proceed accordingly.

    Teeth – if they are compromised, removal may be recommended while thee blood flow to all areas is still good and will aid healing.

    Teeth – this is one of the decisions they leave up to you, because it can go either way.  Tell them you want to start treatment on Monday and see how  they react.

    Teeth – no easy answers for you.




    See previous thread for additional comments.

  • ketchus2
    ketchus2 Member Posts: 4

    Honestly I would let that tooth go and get treatment started. If your care team feels you could get it out and still stay on treatment schedule then go ahead but for myself I put melanoma ahead of teeth. 

    I wasn't given enough warning to get mine checked, and some should have been removed, but I will have to deal with the fall out later. Literally, lol. I am nearing the end of my chemo and radiation, with two weeks to go. So far so good.