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tongue cancer surgery and swallowing

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2003

When part of your tongue is removed due to tongue cancer, can you swallow water? saliva? medications?

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Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2003

It depends on how much of the tongue is taken (glossectomy). My first two surgeries I lost 1/3 and then 1/2 of my tongue, and I swallowed and talked just fine. But the cancer came back five years later and I had a complete glossectomy...I lost 90% of my tongue. I can't eat and it's very difficult to drink anything. I'm on a stomach tube and have been for three years now. No biggy. You don't have to grocery shop and there are no dishes to do. Three cans of ensure down the tube and I'm off! Life is too good to let something like that bum you out. I've been terminal 4 times. I've been so close to death I could smell the dirt. Worry about the meaningful things...love your family...feel the sunshine...let the rain soak your face. Life means a whole lot more once you pay for it. If you're facing surgery please get back to me. I'll get you through it.

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2004

so tell me. I have just been diagnosed with tongue cancer which has progressed into my lymph gland in my neck. I go to see the Doctors which will give me additional information. what should i be asking. The diagnosing physician says it is stage 4. any hope?

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2003

What a ride we have been on since I first posted this message in September. My husband had 1/4 of his tongue removed November along with a radical right neck disection. He had a feeding tube in his nose and hated it. That was what he complained about the most. My recommendation - go for the gastric feeding tube while you are in the hospital. He had his gastric feeding tube put in January 8. That weekend we were back in the hospital because the site became infected. In mid January, he had an ear ache - turned out to be another tumor in his tongue resting on a nerve to his ear. On 2/4 he had all his tongue removed. We got home 2/10 and he is feeding himself (through the peg tube) and walking around. We are not sure how much speech he will have, he still has his voice box, so we are hopeful. His spirits improve each day.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2004

I will keep you in my prayers. My dad is now going through radiation after he had part of his tongue removed along w/lymph gland. It's been rough and I highly recommend you getting the feeding tube put in prior to the radiation.
My heart goes out to you...

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2004

Hello. I just found out that my Dad has been diagnosed with tongue cancer (last night). He will find out what stage and if it has progressed to his lymph nodes later this week.
We're all in shock. Dad never smoked or used tobbacco products. He's young at 52 and is feeling fine now. Any tips on how our family can help, what to expect, etc?

Thanks, Renee in Atlanta, GA

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2004

We had found out my dad had tongue cancer on Sept 23, after a long year of not knowing what it was. My dad (68 years old) had throat cancer 8 years ago. He had radiation on his neck and was 100% cleared of cancer.
On October 5, he had a partial glossectomy and we are awaiting radiation to ensure all of the cancer is gone. He has a tracheotomy until after radiation. He is talking some and has a feeding tube. He has tried to swallow a bit of water but he coughs it back up.

The goods news is the cancer is out, and we are happy to finally have a diagnosis. We try to maintain a good spririt within the family, especially around my dad. he is doing well but i think is still in shock. We take each day one ay at a time.

My dad is a fighter, and I would love to find out how other people have rehabilitated after a partial glossectomy.

Any advise?

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